This page is for employers seeking workplace-related information about domestic or family violence.
If a colleague or employee is experiencing violence at home, it doesn't just affect their personal life. Many victims of family violence need support at work as they may experience:
- their abuser stalking them or attempting to contact them at work, making them feel unsafe
- loss of concentration, low self-esteem and anxiety which impacts on their work performance and general well-being
- disruption to their home life (being made homeless or having to move to a shelter with children are examples) making it hard to physically get to work and maintain regular work hours
- physical or mental injuries and/or disabilities as a result of the abuse which mean they can't work, even if they don't have enough sick leave to cover the time they need off
These are just a few examples - each person's experience is unique and they may face different or additional barriers to safety at work.
The 'Safe At Home, Safe At Work' website is a great starting place for Australian employers, employees and unions seeking information and advice on dealing with the impact of family violence at work.
In 2012, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Congress endorsed the following principles in their 'Work, Life, Family' Policy Framework. These principles lay the groundwork for workplaces to provide family violence leave allowances in their Enterprise Agreements:
- Dedicated additional paid leave for employees experiencing family or domestic violence;
- Confidentiality of employee details must be assured and respected;
- Workplace safety planning strategies to ensure protection of employees should be developed and clearly understood by the parties concerned;
- The agreement should provide for referral of employees to appropriate domestic violence support services;
- Provision of appropriate training and paid time off work for agreed roles for nominated contact persons (including union delegates of health and safety representatives if necessary);
- Employees entitled to family and domestic violence leave should also be able to access flexible work arrangements where appropriate; and
- Employees must be protected against adverse action or discrimination on the basis of their disclosure of, experience of, or perceived experience of, family and domestic violence.
See a list of Australian workplace enterprise agreements that include a family violence clause on 'Safe At Work, Safe At Home'.