Guidelines for a DVFREE Workplace

DVfree Policy Guide

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

The Guidelines provide 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.
Contents include:
  • 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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“As a large employer we know family violence will be a real and serious issue for a number of our staff at any given time. We collaborate with Shine to ensure our approach follows best practice and we continue to be formally recognised as a DVFREE employer with the DVFREE Tick.”

— David McLean - 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