13 November 2014

Businesses are being urged to take action against domestic abuse and violence by joining the 16 Days Campaign, which runs from 25 November to 10 December and aims to raise awareness of domestic violence and how to tackle it.

Employers have a duty of care to the people they employ, including responsibility for the health and safety of their employees, both physical and emotional.

Figures show that 53% of people affected by domestic abuse are absent from work at least three days a month and 56% of abused women arrive late for work at least five times per month.

In addition, 75% of domestic abuse victims are targeted at work — from harassing phone calls/text messages and emails to abusive partners arriving at the workplace.

In this context, Public Health England (PHE) has launched a step-by-step guide for businesses on how they can tackle such abuse and create a supportive work environment.

Professor Kevin Fenton, PHE's Director of Health and Wellbeing, explained: "Workplaces are a safe space for many people living in violence and are key for providing opportunities for disclosure and support into safety. As it stands, companies can do more to support their employees who experience domestic abuse, train those who witness, and protect staff as a whole."

Employers are also invited to join the Corporate Alliance by pledging to help eliminate the impact of domestic violence in the workplace. BAM Nuttall, Kier Group, and Morrison Utility Services are among the companies who have already signed the Pledge, together with a number of local authorities and numerous NHS Trusts.

For more information see here.

From Eric Davies, business writer for Croner