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Workplace support for victims of domestic abuse: review report

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has published a report on improving workplace support for domestic abuse victims, including raising awareness and sharing best practice among employers.

The report sets out the key findings from the review by BEIS into how victims of domestic abuse can be supported in the workplace and the actions which government will take as a result.

There are three main themes:

The report draws upon analysis of responses to the BEIS call for evidence which ran from June to September 2020.

Chapter 1 considers the impact of domestic abuse on individuals and employers, including the challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic. It identifies that an effective employer response is founded on being able to spot the signs of domestic abuse and know how to signpost to specialist services. The chapter sets out the steps which the Government will take to work with employers to raise awareness of domestic abuse as a workplace issue.

Chapter 2 focuses on best practice and the positive role that employers can play, alongside the barriers for individuals and employers in accessing and providing support. It finds that having a workplace policy can be an effective mechanism for employers and employees, but that this needs to be embedded in wider organisational frameworks and cultures. The government wants all employers to have the tools and resources they need to support their members of staff and will set up a working group to raise awareness and drive change.

Chapter 3 discusses the role that employment rights can play in giving employers and employees the certainty they need. While individuals may be able to use annual leave or request flexible working in order to take time away from work to deal with the impacts of domestic abuse, the review has found evidence to suggest that there are unmet needs in this area. In light of this, the government will consider through a consultation the steps which can be taken for victims of domestic abuse as well as consult to take forward the manifesto commitment to 'encourage flexible working and consult on making it the default unless employers have good reasons not to'.

For the report, click here.