Seventy-one per cent of Canadian employers have experienced a situation where it was necessary to protect a victim of domestic abuse, according to a report by the Conference Board of Canada.
And 63 per cent of employers have implemented a domestic violence policy that is stand-alone or a subset of a broader workplace policy, found the report, based on a survey of members of the Conference Board's leadership and HR research executive networks.
While the prevalence of supporting victims of domestic violence is similar across industries, employees working in the finance, insurance, accommodation and food services, and retail trade were found to be the most likely to have needed to support a victim of domestic violence (82 per cent). They were followed closely by employees working in high technology, professional scientific and technical services, utilities, communications and telecommunications (80 per cent).
"Unfortunately, domestic violence is a reality of Canadian society and the Canadian workplace," said Louise Chenier, manager of workplace health and wellness research at the Conference Board of Canada. "And employers can play a role in providing greater resources and supports for victims of domestic violence. In fact, most Canadian employers are proactively preparing themselves to support employees who experience domestic violence, and prevent workplace tragedies."
The report, Domestic Violence and the Role of the Employer, identifies the important role organizations can play to support their employees in this time of crisis. Concrete examples of workplace domestic violence policies, include:
• training for managers and employees
• follow-up support for victims
• leave policies and guidelines
• safety planning procedures
• better communication of availability and access to services and resources such as employee and family assistance programs (EFAP).
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