Employers have a ‘duty to spot early signs of domestic abuse’, says Business Minister
Paul Scully has urged employers to put plans in place to spot signs of domestic abuse and help affected staff find the necessary support.
Business Minister Paul Scully has issued a rallying call to employers to take some simple steps to ensure their organisation is spotting signs of domestic abuse and helping their staff find the right support.
Mr Scully has penned an open letter to all UK employers, detailing a series of key, practical steps b businesses can they can take to help them grow awareness of domestic abuse, ensure they are noticing warning signs, and help workers access the support they need.
Warning signs for domestic abuse include changes in a person’s behaviour, a sudden drop in performance, mentions of controlling or coercive behaviour in partners, or physical signs such as bruising.
Business Minister Paul Scully said: “For too long, a lack of awareness and stigma around speaking about domestic abuse has stopped workplaces from putting in place the kind of help that survivors so desperately need.
“I know from personal experience that both bosses and colleagues are in a unique position to help spot the signs of domestic abuse and ensure survivors get the support they need so they no longer have to suffer in silence.
“That doesn’t mean making employers into counsellors or healthcare workers, but the actions I’ve outlined – which can be as simple as providing a safe space to talk – can have a life-changing impact on survivors.”
The open letter comes as the government publishes the final report from its Review into Workplace Support for Victims of Domestic Abuse, which was launched in June to collect evidence on what more both the government and employers can do to try and tackle all forms of domestic abuse.
In light of the findings of the report, Business Minister Paul Scully today announced plans to consult on the steps that can be taken so survivors can better exercise their existing employment rights, such as the right to request flexible working.
The government will also establish a working group including employers, representatives of domestic abuse victims and trade unions to convene regularly to establish practical solutions that employers can implement in the workplace, and to measure their impact on supporting survivors.
A lack of awareness of warning signs, stigma around talking about domestic abuse in the workplace, and a lack of knowledge about specialist services is preventing domestic abuse survivors getting the help they need in the workplace, the report found.
Safeguarding Minister Victoria Atkins said: “Domestic abuse is a devastating crime which shatters lives.
“It is incredibly important that everyone works together to tackle this horrific crime, and that includes employers – whether that is supporting survivors in the workplace, ensuring staff know how to spot signs of abuse, or assisting victims in seeking help they need. Many employers are already supporting their staff who are experiencing domestic abuse in practical ways and we want this to become “business as usual” for all employers.
“We have built on this relationship between retailers and the public through the development of the ‘Ask for ANI’ codeword scheme. From today, those at risk or suffering from domestic abuse can discreetly signal to trained workers at participating pharmacies that they need help in accessing support.”
Sleep and Fatigue: Director’s Briefing
Fatigue is common amongst the population, but particularly among those working abnormal hours, and can arise from excessive working time or poorly designed shift patterns. It is also related to workload, in that workers are more easily fatigued if their work is machine-paced, complex or monotonous.
This free director’s briefing contains:
- Key points;
- Recommendations for employers;
- Case law;
- Legal duties.