One in four women and one in six/seven men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime
When someone is experiencing domestic abuse, work might be their only safe place
Your actions as an employer can change and potentially save that person’s life
Employers have a duty to safeguard the wellbeing of staff: the statutory guidance accompanying the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 makes clear that employers should consider the impact of domestic abuse on their employees as part of their duty of care.
However, the latest research by the Vodafone Foundation found that only 5% of employers had introduced a specific policy or guideline on the issue.
This needs to change.
Domestic abuse all too often follows a survivor into the workplace:
Over one in ten of those who experience domestic abuse report that the abuse continues in the workplace, in 81% of cases this is through abusive emails or phone calls
47% of those experiencing domestic abuse say that their perpetrator turned up at their workplace or stalked them outside their place of work
In a 2014 report, 16% of those who had experienced domestic abuse said that their perpetrator worked in the same place as they did
Domestic abuse is a workplace issue. Even when the perpetrator does not enter the workplace or pursue their victim at work, domestic abuse nearly always impacts the survivor’s productivity and ability to work:
Nearly 9 out of 10 workers experiencing domestic abuse said it impacted their performance at work
Over half of those experiencing domestic abuse have to take time off work as a result of abuse and nearly half were late to work
Of those who had experienced domestic abuse, over 40% said it had affected their ability to get to work
Over one in five working women have taken time off work because of domestic abuse and one in fifty women lose their jobs as a consequence of experiencing domestic abuse
Nobody should lose their ability to work as a result of experiencing domestic abuse. Yet unfortunately the impact is not limited to the survivor of domestic abuse alone. Domestic abuse usually also has an adverse impact on the morale of other employees and on an organisation’s image and reputation:
Over a quarter of colleagues had been threatened or harmed by a colleague’s abuser, according to a 2014 report
90% of those experiencing domestic abuse said it had created conflict and tension with their colleagues
There's a clear financial impact too, with an estimated £14 billion lost to businesses each year through decreased productivity, time off work, lost wages and sick pay as a result of domestic abuse.
The challenge is that domestic abuse is complex, can be hard to identify and there is still a negative stigma around this workplace issue.
That’s where EIDA can help. We offer the latest resources, best practice and practical support to help employers best carry out this vital duty of care towards their employees.