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Domestic Violence Sample Policy

A Domestic Violence Policy should include:

• A strict confidentiality clause for members who seek help at work; in particular personal details of members (addresses, telephone numbers, work locations, shift times) must be kept strictly confidential

• Allowance for the employee to decide the course of action taken throughout

• Recognition of the effects of domestic violence on work and agreement that members will be believed, and treated sympathetically and flexibly. In particular, a commitment that time-keeping problems and increased sickness, caused by domestic violence, will not affect a member’s work record

• A commitment to grant, or at least consider sympathetically, time off for members experiencing domestic violence, for example to enable them 
to sort out the practical and legal problems

• Extended leave if the member needs to go to a refuge or move away

• Paid leave to attend appointments eg for legal, housing, medical or 
childcare issues, or for professional counselling – the employer should also cover the cost where there is a legal route to do so

• The opportunity for redeployment to a different workplace, or a non-frontline job, if possible and if the member wishes

• Other security measures eg changing entry codes, should be implemented if employees are being harassed by abusers. Employers should provide a secure workplace and ensure reception and other relevant staff have appropriate domestic violence training

• Rights to flexible working which may give a woman more control over her situation. Not requiring women to work overtime without sufficient notice - abusive partners are often very controlling of their partners’ time

• If the couple work together, there should be prompt use of the harassment procedure if abuse takes place at work

• Named staff (managers, personnel and/or shop stewards/workplace reps) to provide listening and guidance (though not formal counselling) for employees on welfare or domestic issues. These staff should have some training in domestic violence and dealing with personal issues

• Information on domestic violence services, the workplace policy, the role of the named contacts, and protocols for identifying and responding to domestic violence (victims and perpetrators) to be given to all staff as part of induction, health & safety, and management training

• Promoting a ‘zero tolerance’ culture. ‘Jokes’ about domestic violence should not be acceptable in the workplace

• Salary advances to be available in extreme situations, for example if it may help a woman flee a violent situation.

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Women’s Health and Safety at Work Toolkit

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