CIPD Voice: Issue 26
- Recognise the problem
- Respond appropriately to disclosure
- Provide support
- Refer to the appropriate help
- Develop a domestic abuse policy and create an effective framework around domestic abuse support.
- Where an organisation has a recognised trade union, policies should be reviewed and agreed with union representatives.
- Employers have a duty of care for the health, safety and wellbeing of their staff and are in a strong position to create a safe and supportive workplace environment. Think about the safety/security measures that may be required.
- Create open work cultures that help to break the silence around this important issue and ensure people know that the organisation will support people experiencing domestic abuse to seek help.
- Offer flexibility to enable people to attend counselling, legal and finance appointments, get support from professional organisations and make arrangements, for example concerning childcare and housing.
- Outline people’s different roles and responsibilities when it comes to supporting employees experiencing domestic abuse. For example, HR should take central responsibility for developing a policy and procedures on domestic abuse and facilitating awareness-raising training. Line managers should receive appropriate training on how to effectively support someone experiencing domestic abuse. They need to be clear on how to encourage and appropriately respond to the disclosure of abuse and signpost people to professional support. They also have an obligation to prioritise confidentiality wherever possible. Supportive and empathetic employees and co-workers can assist an affected colleague in gaining confidence to seek support.
- Make it clear that abusive behaviour is the responsibility of the perpetrator and misconduct inside and outside of work is viewed seriously – and can lead to disciplinary action.
- Signpost to supportive services, charities and organisations and outline the types of support that someone might need, such as: legal support, housing support, support with childcare, support in dealing with financial abuse, specialist counselling.
Claire McCartney: Senior Policy Adviser, Resourcing and Inclusion
Claire is the Resourcing and Inclusion Policy Adviser at the CIPD. For the last two years she has been running her own research and consultancy organisation.
Claire specialises in the areas of diversity & inclusion, flexible working, resourcing and talent management. She has also conducted research into meaning and trust at work, age diversity, workplace carers and enterprise and has worked on a number of international projects. She is the author of several reports and articles and regularly presents at seminars and conferences.
Prior to her roles at the CIPD, Claire was Principal Researcher at Roffey Park where she conducted research projects into a variety of topics including Roffey Park’s annual Management Agenda survey, work-life balance, flexible working, employee volunteering, talent management, and diversity. Claire has also worked with a range of clients on tailored research needs.