EY introduces paid leave and support for domestic abuse victims

EY introduces paid leave and support for domestic abuse victims

As many as one in four women and one in six men experience domestic abuse at some point during their lives

Big Four accountancy firm EY have introduced paid leave for employees affected by domestic abuse.

The move is a vital one as research reveals that one in four women and one in six men in England and Wales will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

The professional services firm has also launched a domestic abuse guide for the 14,500 people it employs in the UK.

By backing it with a campaign to place employers right at the heart of tackling domestic abuse, EY is sending a strong message and show its dedication to fighting this problem.

The campaign is called ‘Everyone’s Business’ and is a collective initiative by the UK’s leading domestic abuse charities and organisations, including Hestia, Employer’s Initiative on Domestic Abuse (EIDA), The Corporate Alliance, Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA), Bulbshare, TecSOS, Women’s Trust, and Cardiff Women’s Aid.

Everyone’s Business was started to encourage as many employers as it can to consider how they can support their employees who have been impacted by domestic abuse.

It was the Office for National Statistics’ 2017 Crime Survey which revealed a quarter of women and one in six men would suffer domestic abuse of some kind at some point in their lives.

Out of these victims, three quarters of them will be targeted while they are at work and yet only five percent of employers have a domestic abuse policy of any kind in the workplace for their staff members to access and seek support from.

EY, as a member of the Employer’s Initiative on Domestic Abuse, launched its guide on domestic abuse with the aim of teaching people about it, raise awareness that it happens, and provide detail on all the support routes available.

The guide also goes into detail about different types of abuse, including controlling and coercive behaviour and stalking to prevent any misunderstanding over what these entail and to help explain what victims might go through.

The top accountancy firm has also introduced a week of paid leave for anyone working in the organisation who experiences domestic abuse. Victims would also receive an Independent Domestic Violence Adviser and a counselling service.

There is specialist training for people around the business to help support people who go through domestic abuse.

Justine Campbell, EY’s managing partner for talent in the UK & Ireland said: “The statistics highlight that there are likely to be a number of people within any organisation who have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse.

“We know that the workplace can often be considered a safe place for those affected by abuse at home, which is why it is so important for employers to create a supportive environment with access to professional help.

“By launching a domestic abuse guide with tools and resources provided by Everyone’s Business, we hope to pave the way for other employers and to help ensure those affected by domestic abuse get the help they need.”

Melissa Morbeck, director at The Corporate Alliance, which is one of the charities involved in the campaign, shared her story: “In my personal experience of domestic abuse, work was my only safe place. When I told my employer what was happening they supported me wholeheartedly.

“Employers can have a key role to play in tackling domestic violence, particularly by being prepared to receive disclosures and responding with swift support. EY is helping to lead the way by introducing a robust and inclusive guide that will help employees to know they are supported and critically, not alone. We hope their positive action will encourage other UK businesses to do the same.”

 

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