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Introduction to this document

Domestic abuse policy

Our domestic abuse policy is aimed at protecting both your employees and the business from the detrimental impact of domestic abuse. You owe a duty to your employees to protect their health, safety and welfare at work as far as reasonably practicable and this includes risks presented by third parties such as abusive partners.

Is it your problem?

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 imposes a duty on you to keep your employees free from risk of harm to their health, safety and welfare at work as far as is reasonably practicable. As a general rule, what an employee does outside work isn’t your concern unless they’re acting in the course of their employment. However, it can become your problem when it impacts on the workplace. In the case of an employee experiencing domestic violence, this could happen if the employee’s attendance or work performance deteriorates or their abusive partner starts harassing them at work, either by presenting at the workplace to intimidate them or any of their colleagues or constantly contacting them during the working day.

Policy provisions

Our Domestic Abuse Policy outlines a constructive and compassionate approach to domestic violence and is aimed at protecting the health, safety and welfare of all of your staff, not just the one being abused. The policy’s provisions include having a first point of contact at work so that those experiencing domestic violence know where to turn to seek advice, an optional external advice line, actively encouraging employees to seek appropriate external help and support from the appropriate authorities and agencies and raising general workplace awareness of domestic violence, so that line managers and staff can spot the signs and know what to do. It isn’t just aimed at the victims but covers the perpetrators where they recognise they are abusers and want to seek help to address their behaviour - after all, anyone who’s abusive at home could just as easily turn violent on a work colleague. Finally, bear in mind that domestic abuse isn’t just committed against women by their partners or ex-partners. Men can be victims too and the perpetrators could be controlling family members rather than partners, so our policy recognises this.