Guidelines for a DVFREE Workplace

Guidelines for a domestic violence free workplace

Our 36pg Guidelines Booklet

Ensure your workplace is safe and supportive for employees experiencing domestic violence

These Guidelines will help employers achieve the goals of a DVFREE workplace:

  • Employees impacted by domestic violence feel safe and supported at work
  • Domestic violence is not tolerated or excused; the workplace promotes and supports respectful behaviour within domestic/family relationships
  • All employees know what to do if a work colleague is experiencing or perpetrating domestic violence
  • A best practice workplace response to domestic violence exceeds legal obligations under the Domestic Violence – Victims Protection Act 2018 and other laws

Our 36-page Guidelines booklet provides detailed guidance with background information and specific suggestions to help employers

The Guidelines ‘essential’ recommendations form the basis of the criteria for the DVFREE Tick employer accreditation.
Guidelines content includes:
  • First Responders – the role, recruitment, training, ongoing support
  • Appropriate terminology and language
  • Policy purpose
  • Principle of non-discrimination
  • Defining domestic/family violence
  • Confidentiality
  • Informing staff about help-seeking pathways
  • Workplace safety planning
  • Domestic/family violence leave
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Accessing specialist community support
  • The role of EAP (Employee Assistance Programme)
  • Economic abuse prevention
  • Working from home safety considerations
  • Performance and discipline issues
  • Consequences for employees perpetrating work-related domestic violence
  • Support for employees using harmful behaviour to change
  • Response to health & safety incidents involving domestic/family violence
  • Training your managers
  • Staff education and awareness raising
  • How to help a co-worker experiencing domestic/family violence
  • Beyond the workplace



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“'It stands out to me that nearly half of people experiencing violence at home are likely to talk to a work colleague. That makes it all the more important that our employees know we are an organisation that is approachable and will be understanding through tough times.  Our DVFREE Tick is an ongoing commitment to our people that we will show care in their time of need.”

— Catherine McGrath - Westpac NZ CEO

“The DVFREE customer response training reinforces being the bridge to help our customers, opens our eyes to signs and provides real life examples that we can apply to our job - it was very practical, with great facilitation.”

— IAG Care Team member training evaluation

“With specialist support from Shine, we are able to provide our people with a work environment where those affected by domestic violence are able to and feel supported to speak up, are treated with dignity and empathy, and where safety and privacy is protected."

— Catherine Dixon - Suncorp New Zealand Executive General Manager People and Culture

"It is our duty as a responsible employer to ensure our people feel safe and supported at work. Shine’s DVFREE programme has given us the knowledge and tools to be confident in how we respond to any of our people who experience domestic violence.”

— David Stevenson, General Manager, Parliamentary Service

“The model we have developed with Shine has given our managers tools to deal with some of the issues faced by our people. The systems we have put in place are already working." The Ministry of Justice was the first state sector agency awarded the DVFREE Tick. CE Andrew Bridgman urged other public sector organisations to follow its lead.

— Andrew Bridgman, Chief Executive, Ministry of Justice