The Andrews Labor Government has introduced guidelines to recognise family violence as an issue of workplace safety and help employers support workers experiencing violence.
For too long, family violence was ignored as a private issue in the workplace. This new guideline recognises family violence as a workplace hazard – just like any other workplace health and safety issue.
All employers have a legal obligation to maintain a safe working environment, and these new guidelines will help them understand and recognise family violence, and put in place measures to help support workers experiencing family violence.
Sadly, it is common for family violence perpetrators to target women in the workplace, creating a health and safety risk. These new guidelines will help employers implement practical measures to protect against family violence incidents.
For example, this could include putting in place a call screening process to protect workers from threatening calls, or ensuring there is a safe room or area to retreat to, should a perpetrator show up at workplace and behave in a violent and intimidating manner.
Other measures could include supporting workers to take family violence leave, or access flexible working arrangements and ensuring there are appropriate security and visitor screening protocols in place.
Around 800,000 Australian women who are currently experiencing violence, or have previously, are in the workplace.
The Labor Government has invested an unprecedented $2.6 billion to prevent family violence and keep women and children safe.
We undertook the landmark Royal Commission into Family Violence, and we’re getting on with implementing each and every one of the Commission’s important recommendations.
The Addressing Family Violence in the Workplace guidelines have been developed by WorkSafe Victoria, and are available at www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/resources/information-employers-addressing-family-violence-workplace
Quotes attributable to Minister for Workplace Safety Jill Hennessy
“We’re determined to break the cycle of family violence in the community. That means making sure women experiencing family violence are supported at work.”
“Employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe workplace for their employees – and that includes doing whatever they can to support workers experiencing family violence.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams
“We know prevention is the key to ending the scourge of family violence. By educating employers about family violence, we’re ensure more victim-survivors will get the help and support they need.”