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Workplace awareness

What is Domestic Violence

Is your workplace family and domestic violence aware

Is your workplace family and domestic violence aware?

Family and domestic violence (FDV) can impact all areas of an employee’s life, including work. Managers and team leaders can play an important role in supporting employees and colleagues by being FDV aware. Here are some things to be aware of:

  • FDV is a workplace health and safety issue. For instance, did you know that one in five women are harassed by perpetrators while at work?
  • Abuse comes in many forms. These include physical, emotional, sexual, financial and technological abuse.
  • FDV is a workplace productivity issue. It costs Australia’s economy $21.7 billion per year in health, administration and social welfare costs. FDV also contributes to increased absenteeism, lost wages and staff turnover. It can also impact on job satisfaction and staff morale.

Research shows that nearly half of those experiencing FDV will disclose it to a manager or supervisor. So knowing how to respond if someone discloses to you, and having some information about FDV ready to support them, lies at the core of being workplace aware.

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Rights and responsibilities

Rights and responsibilities

We encourage all employers to be aware of their obligations because of the impact FDV can have on the workplace.

For instance, did you know that in Australia, the Fair Work Act 2009 entitles all staff (full time, part time or casual) to a minimum of five days unpaid FDV leave every 12 months of service? This entitlement is enforceable by law, and forms a part of the National Employment Standards (NES). Workplaces can also opt to provide paid FDV leave as part of their conditions.

When an employee experiences FDV, their workplace can offer them flexible working arrangements. This might include a change to work patterns and hours, a potential transfer to a different location or branch, allocating a different desk or office location or changing their work email address and phone number.

Formal policies or strategies to support workers experiencing FDV can be key to an organisation's social responsibility.  Such practices may be embedded within the workplace’s corporate social responsibility charter and contribute towards a supportive organisational culture.

Starick can offer tips when you are drafting your organisation’s FDV leave policy or reviewing flexible options for staff. We can also provide examples of FDV leave policy related to legislation, FDV leave provisions and flexible work options.

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How we can help

How we can help

Guidance

Starick staff are available to speak to HR managers, team leaders or employees about FDV. We can also offer ideas on how to communicate to staff about FDV and make suggestions to promote available resources.

Resources for workplaces

Starick has a range of resources including brochures, guest speakers, posters, fact sheets and information regarding FDV support services.

Education and Training

We can refer you to free and low-cost options to increase staff knowledge about FDV. We can also provide you with resources for integrating FDV awareness and respectful relationships into your induction package and staff development programs.

Email Karen Kerlin at communitylinkages@starick.org.au for more information.

Quick links to our domestic and family violence services

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