EY launches domestic abuse guide for UK employees

EY has launched a domestic abuse guide for its 14,500 staff in the UK, backed by a new campaign to put employers at the heart of tackling abuse, and is to offer special paid leave for those affected by domestic abuse

The move forms part of an initiative led by Everyone’s Business, a collective campaign by the UK’s leading domestic abuse charities and organisations, which is encouraging employers to think about how they support employees who are affected by domestic abuse.

According to Everyone’s Business, one in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse in their life time and threequarters of those victims will be targeted whilst at work. However, only 5% of businesses have a domestic abuse policy in place for employees to access and seek support from.

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.’

As a member of the employer’s initiative on domestic abuse (EIDA), EY launched its guide on domestic abuse to help raise awareness among its people and detail the support routes available.

The guide also outlines different forms of abuse, including controlling and coercive behaviour and stalking, to help colleagues understand the experiences of fellow workers that may be affected by domestic abuse.

EY has also introduced a week of special paid leave for those experiencing domestic abuse; access to an independent domestic violence adviser and a counselling service for employees, as well as accredited training for key people around the business to help identify and support people who may need help.

Melissa Morbeck, director at The Corporate Alliance, one of the charities involved in the Everyone’s Business campaign, said: ‘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.’

Report by Pat Sweet

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