26 November 2014

A few days ago we reported on calls for employers to pay more attention to the possibility of domestic abuse invading the workplace: now Public Health England (PHE) has launched a toolkit to provide businesses with some practical help.

The guide has been published as part of the "16 Days Campaign" — running from 25 November to 10 December — which aims to raise awareness of domestic violence and how to tackle it.

PHE’s step-by-step guide provides practical tools and resources to help employers take various types of action: from raising awareness internally using posters and internal communications messaging, to being visible through social media, blogs and podcasts.

It also provides briefings for members of staff on how to address the issue.

A growing collection of research highlights the need for more businesses to be aware of domestic abuse, describing it as a hidden workplace issue. More than 20% of employed women take time off work because of domestic violence and 2% lose their jobs as a direct result of the abuse.

Furthermore, research shows that 75% of domestic abuse victims are targeted at work.

Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing at PHE, said that it was unacceptable that, in England and Wales, two women a week die as a result of domestic violence, and many more suffer physical and mental harm.

Dennis Howard, Chairman of The Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence, said: "We urge all employers to recognise both the human cost, and the ultimate cost to UK businesses, of domestic violence and take effective, simple steps to help support their employees."

Further information can be found on the 16 days Campaign website.

From Eric Davies, business writer for Croner