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Thursday, 22 November 2018

Guidance to support employers response to domestic and sexual abuse launched in Belfast

Written by The Editorial Team

The Department of Health and Department of Justice in Northern Ireland have published new Guidance on how employers can increase awareness and respond more effectively to domestic and sexual violence and abuse.

The Guidance was launched at an event in Belfast City Hall attended by trade unions and statutory, voluntary and community sector colleagues who helped develop the Guidance.

This is the latest initiative to be delivered under the Stopping Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy.

The aim is to support employers by providing a checklist of the key areas to include in a Workplace Policy along with information on practical measures that can be taken to support employees who have been affected by, or are at risk of, domestic and sexual violence and abuse.

Support in the workplace is often about being aware and sign posting employees to organisations that provide specialist support to victims and those who are working with them or their family and friends.

Having a workforce policy that supports employees experiencing domestic and sexual violence and abuse can help employers recruit and retain staff, it can help increase staff morale and productivity, prevent unnecessary disciplinary action as well as communicating a powerful message to both employees and potential employees. Having a workforce policy not only makes sound business and economic sense for employers but importantly will help them fulfil their duty of care to their employees.

The 24 Hour Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline (Telephone: 0808 802 1414) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for anyone who is in need of support.

The Guidance for Employers on Developing a Workplace Policy on Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse is available on the nibusinessinfo website

Picture: (L-R) Clare Moore, Irish Congress of Trade Unions; Deirdre Hargey, Lord Mayor of Belfast; Chris Matthews, Director of Mental Health, Disabilities & Older People, Dept of Health; Katie Taylor, Head of Community Safety Division, Dept of Justice.