WorkSafe Victoria have issued a new Information Sheet for employers called “Addressing Family Violence in the Workplace” (January 2018). It reminds us of the important role that workplaces can play in preventing and responding to family violence by providing a safe and supportive working environment for all employees. The information sheet aims to assist employers understand the impacts of family violence in the workplace, and provide information about how to address it.
It lists examples of when family violence risks entering or affecting the workplace:
- a perpetrator ‘entering’ the workplace by using email or telephone to contact the victim survivor
- a perpetrator attending the workplace and verbally or physically attacking a victim survivor
- a perpetrator verbally or physically attacking the victim survivor in circumstances where both parties work together
- perpetrator making threats to the workplace or co-workers of an employee who is a victim survivor
- an employee who is a victim survivor having an impaired ability to work safely due to injury or distraction caused by family violence
- diminished mental and physical wellbeing of an employee who is a victim survivor
- an employee’s ability to work safely impaired due to distraction caused by being a perpetrator of family violence
- a perpetrator using work resources to plan or commit family violence
- a perpetrator presenting outside work premises to intimidate, threaten or assault an employee who is a victim survivor.
The information sheet concludes with contact details for key organisations that support individuals experiencing family or domestic violence. There is no place for complacency by organisations, and developing policies and training using this available information, as well as reminding employees of the new types of unpaid leave, is a practical first step in reducing risk. Please see our previous blogs or call us to discuss any legal support your organisation might require in this area.
Sarah Rey is a Managing Partner at Justitia. To view Sarah’s profile, click here.