Enhancing Our Policy to Protect Employees Suffering From Domestic Abuse

Enhancing Our Policy to Protect Employees Suffering From Domestic Abuse

National Legal Service understands that some of our employees may be amongst those who have survived, are living with, or have been affected by domestic abuse.

Currently, only 5% of employers have systems in place to support team members suffering from domestic abuse, despite figures showing that related staff absences cost businesses over £316m each year.

We believe that more can be done. Our enhanced domestic abuse policy sets out the definition and identification of domestic abuse as well as how we plan to further support our staff and ensure their safety if they’ve chosen to notify us that they are impacted by issues related to domestic abuse.

All of our employees are made aware of our policy during induction training and appraisals. There are additional documents and information made available to all members of staff, along with support from key members of the National Legal Service team and associated partner organisations.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse can be classified as any incident, or pattern of incidences, that display signs of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour.

Domestic abuse can come in many forms, so it was important to us that our policy is wide-ranging and protective in all instances. Our policy encompasses, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:

1. Psychological

2. Physical

3. Sexual

4. Financial

5. Emotional

Employees who disclose domestic abuse can do so with anonymity and can be assured that their information will be handled confidentially. No information will be shared with any other employee without explicit consent, with the exception of cases where there are safeguarding issues around children or vulnerable adults, or where the safety of other employees needs to be protected.

As set out in our policy, some of the support that our employees will receive may include:

• Sympathy around unplanned absences and timekeeping

• Authorised paid and/or unpaid leave for relevant appointments, or days relating to wellbeing

• Changes to work duties if they involve contact with an abuser

• Measures implemented to stay safe at work, including changing telephone numbers and email addresses

• Flexible working, changes to working times and patterns

• Occupational health and counselling services

• Legal advice

• Fair and reasonable legal fees provided by NLS, if necessary

National Legal Services does not condone abuse carried out by members of staff and, as a company, we will ensure that violent and abusive behaviour of all kinds is addressed promptly.

All of our team members are encouraged to read the full policy found within our Employee Handbook and if they have any further questions, or need assistance, they can get in touch with their line manager, or contact our HR Team in complete confidence.

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