Domestic violence can spill into work
DOMESTIC violence is everyone’s business.
Whitsunday business development and training specialist Deb Lewis said business owners and senior managers should take note that domestic violence didn’t just occur behind closed doors.
It also had the capacity to spill into the workplace, put jobs at risk and affect employees’ performance, productivity and even safety at work.
“Australia is leading the world in recognising domestic violence as an issue, which can potentially impact on workers and workplaces,” she said.
“In a supportive and informed workplace, workers will feel safe to disclose.”
It was estimated domestic violence costs Australian businesses more than $490 million each year, which was expected to rise to $610 million by 2021, Ms Lewis said.
Research conducted by the University of New South Wales, which involved surveying 3611 employees, showed nearly half of people experiencing domestic violence admitted it affected their capacity to get to work, she said.
“One in 10 had to take time off work.”
While nearly one in five, who had experience domestic violence within 12 months, said violence continued at the workplace, she said.
It was important to act swift and ensure the safety of any employee who had revealed they were experiencing domestic violence, she said.
“As well as affecting the safety of the worker experiencing the abuse, (it) may also affect the safety of other employees.”
Ms Lewis said workplace training and policies should aim to raise awareness and it was important workers suffering due to domestic violence be given support.