Australian employers are being urged to support those employees affected by domestic or family violence, as today marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
November 25 also marks White Ribbon Day, a key event in Australia’s only male-led Campaign to end men’s violence against women.
With Government statistics revealing one woman is killed in Australia by a current or former partner every week, the time is ripe for businesses around the country to ensure their workplace supports those affected.
“The case for additional investment in primary prevention is clear,” said White Ribbon Australia CEO Libby Davies.
“Violence against women is a serious social issue in NSW and results in high costs at the individual, community and population health levels.”
Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Clark, a White Ribbon Ambassador, said there are various things an employer can do to show support.
“There is growing awareness of the need to support employees affected by domestic or family violence but many employers don’t know where to start,” Mr Clark said.
“By making a few simple changes, employers can provide a safer and more supportive environment for anyone affected by domestic or family violence.”
The FWO has put forward these five steps an employer can consider:
- Raising awareness of domestic and family violence by displaying education material and offering information to staff about where they can go for support,
- Putting in place a process for alerting staff to intruders, and increasing workplace security,
- Having more than one person working in areas accessible to the public,
- Offering flexible start and finish times to employees impacted by domestic or family violence, and
- Changing or redirecting phone numbers and emails for employees who may be at risk.
“Any form of violence impacts a person, and in many cases going to work is not an escape as the victim remains accessible in person, by phone and by email. These are areas that an employer can assist with,” said Mr Clark.