There are multiple benefits for employers who proactively and effectively address the effects of domestic, family and sexual violence on the organisation:
- Reduces costs and increases savings
- Helps to fulfil employers’ duty of care
- Improves staff health, safety and wellbeing
- Economic independence is key to leaving an abusive relationship
- Demonstrates corporate social responsibility
- Positions the organisation as an employer of choice
Employers can reduce costs and increase savings by providing supports to employees who are victims so that they can maintain their employment, thereby improving long-term productivity, safeguarding institutional knowledge and offsetting potential termination, recruitment and retraining expenses. Further, organisations which appropriately manage employees who are perpetrators of domestic, family and sexual violence will reduce the risk of vicarious liability and reputational damage – particularly if these employees are perpetrating violence on work premises, using work resources or during paid work time.
Employers will be fulfilling their duty of care to employees, contractors and clients by providing a safe organisation where foreseeable risks are removed or mitigated. This, in turn, could reduce insurance premiums and other security costs and will enhance the health, safety and wellbeing of all staff.
Research has identified maintaining employment, and therefore economic independence, is a key factor in assisting someone to leave a violent relationship without risking homelessness for themselves and their children.
Taking a stand against and responding to domestic, family and sexual violence will also demonstrate commitment to the organisation’s stated values and corporate social responsibility charters. This will enhance your reputation both within their workforce and the wider community. Since 2016 Australia’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency has required employers to report if they have formal policies or strategies to support workers who are experiencing domestic and family violence in order for the organisation to be considered for an Employer of Choice.
Gendered Violence & Organisations training workshop evaluations reveal many staff are proud to work for an organisation that takes the issue of domestic, family and sexual violence seriously and that they appreciate the opportunity to learn more about the issue and develop skills to assist their colleagues, if needed.