New report links domestic violence as a workplace issue …
Employers are being urged to provide flexible work hours and counselling in a new report that links domestic violence as a workplace issue.
The report titled Playing Our part: Workplace Responses to Domestic and Family Violence, was launched on Friday in Sydney.
Male Champions of Change
The report — supported by high profile community leaders dubbed the “Male Champions of Change” — estimated 800,000 women in the paid workforce were living in an abusive relationship or had done so in the past.
This is an issue that we all share; it doesn’t just happen to other people, it happens to people like us, so it is very definitely a workplace issue. Domestic and family violence was estimated to have the potential to cost Australian business $609 million a year by 2021.” – Rosie Batty.
One of the report’s authors, Elizabeth Shaw said workplaces were already feeling the impact of the effects of domestic violence via absenteeism, injury and lower productivity. She stressed the importance of women in crisis to be able to keep their job so they can remain financially independent.
Economic factors are the most significant predictor on whether a women experiencing domestic violence, remains, escapes or returns to an abusive relationship,” Elizabeth Shaw.
Time for change: Rosie Batty
Australian of the Year Rosie Batty — whose son Luke was killed by his father last year — said domestic violence was a community problem.
This is an issue that we all share; it doesn’t just happen to other people, it happens to people like us, so it is very definitely a workplace issue,” she said.
You know we can’t go much further unless corporate Australia — unless workplaces — really recognise not just the way they respond to victims, but the part they play in changing culture and attitudes.”
Ms Batty stressed the importance of knowing how to respond from the start.
To keep somebody safe and support them so they do not fall into homelessness and poverty, so we don’t lose them through suicide or some other extreme event.”
Paid leave, flexible work hours on the table to help DV victims
Global auditing company KPMG Australia — which employs more than 6,000 people —has already taken on board the report’s recommendations.
KPMG Australia CEO Gary Wingrove said the policy included flexible working hours, counselling and paid parental leave for those affected by domestic violence.
She said it covered attending medical appointments, counselling, legal proceedings, arranging to relocate, caring for children and other activities that relate to the flow on impacts of domestic violence.
“Since the introduction of the leave last year, 43 individuals have used that leave across Australia, 28 of who are women, 198 days leave has been taken,” Ms Paroz said.
The Workplace Gender Equality Agency has found about a third of major private sector employers had a policy or strategy in place to support employees experiencing family or domestic violence.
But the agency’s director Libby Lyons said there was still a long way to go until support for employees experiencing domestic violence is the norm in Australian workplaces.
This article first appeared here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-13/domestic-violence-big-businesses-commit-to-extra-leave-victims/6940088