Employers stand up against family and domestic violence

This sixth year of data collection has revealed a sharp increase in the number of Australian organisations supporting employees who are experiencing family or domestic violence.

The number of employers who have a formal policy or strategy in place to support employees experiencing family or domestic violence jumped an incredible 13.3pp to 60.2%.

Industries with the strongest increase include Arts and Recreation Services (up 21.2pp to 67.3%), and Rental, Hiring and Real estate services (up 21.1pp to 66.3%).

There was also a marked increase in the number of employers offering paid domestic violence leave – up 8.9pp to 30.3%.

Chart showing increase in domestic violence strategies and policies

At a time when as a nation we are working to prevent and respond to domestic violence, individual employer action can make an important contribution.

According to OURWatch, 1 in 6 women has experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former partner.

Australia Bureau of Statistics data also tells us about two-thirds of women who experience domestic violence are members of the workforce.

Employer-led initiatives like paid domestic violence leave make it easier for employees to escape abusive situations.

Having access to paid leave means an employee is financially supported while moving house, attending medical or specialist appointments, and dealing with legal matters and court hearings.

Here at the Agency, we are heartened to see employers coming together to support their employees using these measures.

We hope to see this trend continue and encourage all organisations to review their policies and strategies to ensure they are supporting their employees experiencing family and domestic violence.