Two great things happened yesterday that have the potential to eliminate some of the harm caused by domestic violence.
The PSA launched a piece of research that shows how much domestic violence costs business, and Green MP Jan Logie launched a bill that entitles victims of domestic violence to be supported at work.
The PSA research shows that domestic violence costs businesses a conservatively estimated $368 million per year. The author of the research, Suzanne Snively said at the launch that domestic violence impacts greatly on businesses right around the country.
Victims of domestic violence are often stalked and abused at work, and what’s happening to them and their children at home means that they just can’t work as productively as they would if they were living free of fear and violence. She said that if businesses supported their employees to deal with domestic violence, there would be significant savings to be made by reducing recruitment and induction costs and by raising productivity.
Jan Logie said at the launch of her Bill that victims of domestic violence often lose their jobs because they may not be able to focus on their work, are unable to show up to work, or are stalked by their abusers while at work. Her Bill would work by allowing any employee, no matter where they work or what they do, to take leave to keep themselves and their children safe.
Being able to stay in employment while they find safety for themselves and their children is important for victims. And for employers, supporting workers to become safe and violence free has a positive impact on workplace culture as well as dollar returns from increased productivity and decreased staff turnover.
Jan Logie’s Bill will make four main changes. It will:
- protect victims from discrimination on the basis of domestic violence,
- allow victims of domestic violence to request flexible working arrangements from their employer if needed,
- allow victims of domestic violence to take up to 10 days leave a year related to the violence, and
- clarify that domestic violence is a hazard in the workplace that needs to be managed like other hazards.
As Jan Logie said, the Bill is a win win win situation! It’s a win for victims of domestic violence, it’s a win for our society and it’s a win for businesses.
Here at NZNO, we know that with 93 percent of our 46000 members being women, thousands of us will experience domestic violence sometime in our lives, and that some will be experiencing it right now. Others will be witnessing its negative impact on health in their everyday practice.
We are committed to supporting any initiative that will make working life better for our members. We are committed to improving the health and well being of society and its citizens. We commend the PSA and Jan Logie for their work to make our society safer and more tolerant.
Productivity Gains from Workplace Protection of Victims of Domestic Violence by Suzanne Snively ONZM
Jan Logie’s Domestic Violence-Victims’ Protection Bill
If you are experiencing domestic violence or want to find out how you can support a friend or family member who is, check out the Women’s Refuge website: www.womensrefuge.org.nz
The Family violence: It’s not ok campaign has heaps of information too, and resources you can use at work and home: http://www.areyouok.org.nz/
The poster above features NZNO men making a stand against family violence. Thank you Kieran Monaghan, Simon Hathaway and Gary Swift.