Is your workplace ready for the Domestic Violence Victims Protection Act to go live this Monday April 1st? Shine’s Holly Carrington spoke on Nine to Noon this morning about what employers can and should be doing to support staff who experience domestic violence.
Her key points:
- It’s critical to have appropriate people as ‘First Responders, who are trained by specialists and prepared to respond safely to staff disclosures of domestic violence.
- It’s critical to help these staff not only with leave and flexible working arrangements, but at times more importantly with workplace safety planning.
- Shine’s DVFREE workplace programme offers FREE Guidelines for Policy & Procedures that provide helpful and practical advice for employers, available from www.dvfree.org.nz.
- Shine’s DVFREE programme provides training for First Responders and for managers – with options to train a group of staff at an employer’s venue, or for individuals to register for one of their open workshops in Auckland or Wellington, and soon in Christchurch as well.
- Shine strongly urges employers to NOT request ‘proof’ from employees who experience domestic violence in order to access domestic violence leave and flexible working conditions. These staff are afraid of not being believed or supported. Requiring proof is like saying ‘We will not believe you.’ Further, the experience of many employers who’ve been offering this type of leave for some years without requiring proof is that there is a very low uptake, usually when it is taken it is only hours, or 1-2 days, and there has been no evidence or even suspicion of any employees ‘taking advantage’ of the provision.
- Employees and employers can seek support, information and advice from Shine’s specialist tollfree Helpline 0508-744-633, answered 7 days a week, 9am to 11pm.