Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence can spill into work

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

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.

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