Family violence is a workplace issue
Workplaces can play an important role in preventing family violence through providing family-friendly inclusive environments and support for staff affected by family violence.
In a year, about 50 per cent of all New Zealand organisations will have staff affected by family violence in some way, as victims or colleagues of people who have experienced family violence. (Ref: PSA research)
Family violence can affect the safety and productivity of a workplace.
Employees who are victims of family violence may:
- Be distressed, depressed, anxious, distracted and fearful at work
- Need to take time off work to attend court, seek medical attention, counselling, or other support
- Leave their job because they are hiding from their abuser
- Have a protection order which could have implications for the workplace (e.g. the violent person cannot contact or go to the workplace)
- Have their ability to work sabotaged by the violent person (e.g. through damage to their car so that they are late for work or work taken home may be destroyed)
Employees who are perpetrators of family violence may:
- Pose a risk to the victim’s colleagues
- Pose a risk to staff and clients in their own workplace
- Use work time and resources to harass, stalk and monitor their victim (e.g. calling the victim many times a day to control what she is doing)
- Have a protection order against them, which means that they are not allowed access to weapons (guns, knives, etc) and have conditions like not contacting or being near certain people
- Need to take time off to attend court or stopping violence programmes, or be prosecuted for a crime that affects their employment
Providing a safe and supportive environment for people who are experiencing violence benefits the workplace:
- less absenteeism
- lower staff turnover
- greater productivity
- fewer safety risks
- better morale
- staff feel valued.
Watch people from workplaces involved in the It's not OK Campaign through their workplaces talk about their roles as champions in this video.
The following pages have information relevant to workplaces for:
If you would like to talk to the It's not OK Campaign team about your workplace playing a role in preventing family violence, email firstname.lastname@example.org
A comprehensive organisational self assessment tool is available from the International Center for Research on Women. Read more here: https://nzfvc.org.nz/news/self-assessment-tool-encourages-organisations-improve-practiceIntimate
Partner Violence and the Workplace - an issues paper, via the New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse
Read stories about change in our communities.
Other community action
Read about how other businesses are working to address family violence.