And your employer can do this

Two in three women who suffer family violence are in paid work, so inserting a family violence clause in workplace agreements can play a major role in combatting this national scourge.

For these women the workplace can offer them a safe space to think and make decisions about leaving the violent relationship, so one of the worst things that can happen is they lose their job, they lose support and personal confidence, they lose access to independent income and can end up spending even more time with a violent perpetrator.

The workplace can and must step up to play a major role in combatting the national scourge of family violence, and the insertion of a family violence clause in existing and new workplace agreements must be central to new strategies that workplaces should adopt.

Some employers argue they already have policies that deal with family violence but, however well intentioned, they’re usually not good enough because such policies are subject to personal whim and aren’t backed up by the strength of enforceable law.

‍HACSU has adopted a model family violence clause for inclusion in workplace agreements across Tasmania that mandates that a person must:

  • Feel secure about disclosing their situation to their employer
  • Not suffer hardship in the workplace as a result of disclosures
  • Be offered appropriate support to manage their situation, including access to modified rosters and paid family violence leave

The benefits for employers in inserting a family violence clause include being recognised as a good corporate citizen, improving productivity, maintaining a healthy workplace and being family-friendly and an ‘employer of choice’.

For too long family violence has been allowed to occur behind closed doors virtually unchecked, so workplaces can and must play a far more significant role in fighting it. For more info, please contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032.

HACSUassist offers support and guidance for HACSU members and all calls are confidential