Understanding family violence as a workplace issue

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Everybody should feel supported to thrive at work, especially when things are unsafe at home.

Family violence is a prevalent and complex social issue. It has devastating and long-lasting impacts on adults and children. As a community, we all have a role in recognising and responding to family violence – wherever we live, work and play. 

Family violence is a workplace issue

Family violence has a significant impact on the economy. Violence against women and their children costs Australia an estimated $1.9 billion per year.   

Between 55% and 70% of women who have experienced violence, or are experiencing violence, are currently in the workforce – around one in six female workers 

Workplaces are increasingly being recognised as sites of both abuse and places for people experience family and domestic violence to seek support. Your business can be part of the solution.  

Policies that are meaningfully embedded with staff training and engagement can lead to safer and more productive outcomes. It’s important that your business accesses specialist expertise early, so that you are equipped to respond safely. 

Universal paid family and domestic violence leave

The Australian Government has introduced new legislation: a universal annual entitlement to 10 days paid domestic and family violence leave in the National Employment Standards. The leave is available to all employees including rostered casuals and will be available ‘upfront’ on commencement of employment.  

The operative date for this new form of leave is 1 February 2023 for businesses with over 15 employees, and 1 August 2023 for small businesses.   

It is highly recommended all businesses prioritise the implementation of a tailored and accessible family and domestic violence workplace policy, as well as the cultivation of a compassionate, trauma-informed and supportive workplace culture that is family and domestic violence informed.  

To learn more about how Safe and Equal can work with your organisation, please reach out to Robyn Stone, Business Partnerships and Engagement Advisor, at robynstone@safeandequal.org.au. 


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