Noticing a member of staff is absent more than usual, is putting on their make-up differently or wearing excessive clothing for the time of year, could be indicators of domestic violence, a Speaker’s House event was told.
It is why Public Health England and Business in the Community have devised a Domestic Abuse Toolkit to help employers and companies understand the issue, recognise the signs and know how and when to act.
Launching the toolkit, Commons Speaker John Bercow said: “One in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime – but less than 30% of workplaces know how to respond.
“Work can sometimes be the only place someone suffering domestic violence can escape his or her abuser, which is why the Domestic Abuse toolkit is so important to help employers spot the signs.”
The toolkit has already been adopted by the Employers Initiative on Domestic Abuse – a network of more than 200 companies and public-sector organisations, which includes the House of Commons, Vodafone, Lloyds Banking Group and the BBC.
It works as a checklist of practical actions employers can take and support they can give if they suspect a staff member suffering from sexual or domestic abuse.