Economic abuse is everyone’s business – how you can support your employees experiencing it

Economic abuse is a legally recognised form of domestic abuse and is defined in the Domestic Abuse Act. It often occurs in the context of intimate partner violence and involves the control of a partner or ex-partner’s money and finances, as well as the things that money can buy.
One in five women and one in eight men reported telling a work colleague about their experience of domestic abuse, according to the latest ONS figures. It is therefore vital that employers understand how economic abuse can impact their employees and know how to respond if a colleague or customer discloses abuse.

Surviving Economic Abuse’s Banking Support Directory

Surviving Economic Abuse’s Banking Support Directory is a new online resource that brings together all the support offered to victim/survivors by UK banks and building societies in one place so that victims/survivors can quickly and safely find information about how their bank can help them.

Banks play a vital role in supporting victim/survivors to regain control of their money and rebuild their lives. But it is often difficult for victims/survivors of economic abuse to find the information they need at a time of crisis, especially when they have multiple creditors to contact. Banks and building societies can offer support to victims/survivors like opening a new bank account safely, or removing perpetrators from joint accounts, so they can access their wages. An independent income and secure employment are vital for victims/survivors to escape domestic abuse and safely rebuild their lives.

The Banking Support Directory is therefore a vital tool for survivors to understand what support their bank can provide if they are experiencing economic abuse. It can also be helpful if you’re supporting survivors of economic abuse.

If you have colleagues experiencing economic abuse, signposting them to the Banking Support Directory may help them take steps to regain control of their finances and access safety.


Want to do more to support colleagues experiencing economic abuse? 

1. Understand how to support an employee experiencing economic abuse
As an employer, you may be uniquely placed to both notice signs that economic abuse could be taking place and offer support.
It can be daunting supporting an employee who may be experiencing economic abuse but remember that you aren’t there to solve everything. By noticing the position that your employee is in and offering support, you can play a crucial role in supporting them to stay in work, which can give them more options. Your support may help them to reduce the economic control they may be experiencing.

Find out more about supporting employees experiencing economic abuse by reading SEA's resources for professionals.

2. Sign up for SEA's economic abuse awareness training for employers
Designed for line managers, HR professionals, domestic abuse champions, team leaders, occupational health staff and workplace wellbeing champions, our economic abuse awareness training for employers will help you understand how economic abuse operates within the context of domestic abuse and how it might feature in your workplace.
You’ll leave with an increased confidence in responding to the impact of economic abuse on victims/survivors and how employers can contribute to the creation of economic safety for their workforce.

Find out more about SEA training
If you are worried you might be experiencing economic abuse or a family member or friend might be, visit the Surviving Economic Abuse website for further information on accessing support.