With the right support in place, work can become a lifeline during episodes of family violence. While workplaces are not solely responsible for addressing family violence, there are certain strategies that can be adopted, to help both HR managers and workplaces provide better support to employees experiencing family violence.

Caraniche at Work has developed a range of resources to help HR Managers. While HR Managers can’t be expected to act as counsellors, they can be trained to feel equipped to recognise family violence, respond sensitively, provide access to internal supports, and refer employees to relevant external services.

As more workplaces come to recognise the impact of family violence on business and workplace morale, not to mention the lives of their employees, more is being done to raise awareness and support for those who need it most. In Australia, there’s never been a more pertinent time to take action.

Six steps workplaces can take to start to address family violence

  1. Providing education to all employees to raise awareness and increase understanding of family violence and the potential impacts in the workplace.
  2. Communicating that family violence is considered a workplace issue and practical support is available for all employees.
  3. Consider designating family violence contact officers within the workplace and ensure they, along with other relevant workplace representatives (including HR managers and line managers), are equipped to respond to disclosures of family violence.
  4. Empowering workplace representatives to provide support to impacted employees by exploring their short and long-term needs, providing resources, connecting them with their EAP and checking in regularly.
  5. Consider implementing appropriate work based entitlements such as flexible work hours or flexibility around work locations in order to help manage the impact of family violence.
  6. Consider implementing a leave policy to ensure family violence leave is easily accessible and free from stigma. Family violence is rarely a one-off incident and workplaces will need to prepare for instances where employees may need to take time off to attend hearings or appointments.

Caraniche at Work understands how difficult it can be to recognise family violence in the workplace. Our Recognising Family Violence – An information sheet is a one-page free download that can help you to understand the drivers behind family violence and how it may present in your colleagues at work.

It’s one of a series of resources designed to inform, educate and bolster the confidence of HR managers and CEOs too, in feeling equipped to support and retain employees who are experiencing family violence.

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