The Welsh Government revised its previous policy, in line with the Equality and Human Rights Commission Wales’ best practice guidelines, as part of the 10,000 Safer Lives Project, which aims to improve the way public services respond to prevent instances of domestic abuse. A report commissioned by the project recommended all public services in Wales should introduce or revise existing policies to support employees who are suffering domestic abuse. The remit of the policy has also been broadened to include violence against women and sexual violence, including honour based violence, and was developed in consultation with Trade Unions.
The policy will:
The Minister said,
- provide staff with information and specialist support,
- empower them to break free from abusive relationships whilst maintaining their employment; and
- raise awareness amongst staff of the prevalence and signs of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.
“I welcome the publication of this revised policy which clearly demonstrates the Welsh Government will not tolerate any form of abuse to staff inside or outside the workplace.
“I have also asked public service organisations across Wales to review or introduce their own workplace policies and am pleased at their commitment to doing so. This clearly demonstrates the importance which the Welsh public service as a whole, places on the wellbeing and safety of its employees.
“Research has shown 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience domestic abuse at some point in their life. It is likely, therefore, all workplaces will have staff who are affected by abuse as well as those who are perpetrators. It is vitally important we have an effective policy to ensure staff feel safe and supported in trying to address the issues. It is also important colleagues and managers learn to spot signs of domestic abuse and violence against women and know what to do when they believe there is a problem.
“With 20% of employed women taking time off work because of domestic violence and 53% of abused workers (both male and female) missing at least 3 days from work per month, it also benefits the organisation to help their staff overcome their difficulties.
“The Welsh Government has worked tirelessly to support victims and to reduce rates of violence against women and domestic abuse and I hope that by revising and publishing our new workplace policy we are encouraging other employers to consider how they can best support any staff affected by domestic abuse.”