With almost 2.3 million victims, domestic abuse in England and Wales costs businesses approximately £71 billion per annum. All employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for staff. In 2018, the Insurance Charities sponsored a Toolkit for Employers to help them play their part in tackling domestic abuse. Since its launch, it has proved a popular and vital resource for HR teams and line managers whatever their size or sector.
In June 2021 we funded an update to the Toolkit, working in partnership with the Employers Initiative on Domestic Abuse (EIDA) to deliver this vital initiative. The new edition has been welcomed by the government and features the latest statistics, guidance to support staff working at home, new case studies, and much more. Once again, the Toolkit has been co-authored by Public Health England and Business in the Community.
The Toolkit provides all involved with the health and wellbeing of staff with information, resources, examples, and confidence to play their part in tackling abuse.
With one in four women and one in six men experiencing domestic abuse in their lifetime, employers have an important role to play in society’s response to this crime. Nevermore so than in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic which has brought an exponential shift to working from home. According to Refuge, calls to helplines have increased by 61% since lockdown began. For those experiencing abuse, the workplace often offers a safe space and respite from their abuser.
The Domestic Abuse Toolkit helps employers identify the signs of abuse, such as personality and behavioural changes, and signpost individuals to national and local support. It also helps employers assess whether their demands are adding to the problem.
The Domestic Abuse Toolkit provides the framework and guidelines needed by employers and can help achieve wider objectives such as higher staff retention levels and the creation of an open and caring workplace. An employer sends a clear message that abuse is not tolerated and victims will be supported by having workplace guidance.
Companies are also encouraged to join The Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse; a network of over 450 companies and public sector organisations who are working to encourage, promote and develop action to help all affected by domestic abuse whether as victims or perpetrators.
The Insurance Charities has helped many who have fled a violent relationship. Seeing those who need to start their lives again with little more than the contents of a suitcase and helping them as they rebuild from scratch has brought home how destructive domestic abuse is for victims and their dependants.
“In recent years we have supported a growing number of people who have come to us because of domestic abuse. In addition to the financial help we can offer, we wanted to go one step further and really help tackle the issue. We’re therefore delighted to have once again sponsored this vital resource to help employers and their colleagues.”
Annali-Joy Thornicroft – Chief Executive – The Insurance Charities
Companies are also encouraged to join The Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse, a network of over 450 companies and public sector organisations working to encourage, promote, and develop action to help staff enduring domestic abuse or perpetrators.