This study sampled the views of 1,125 HR professionals from private and public-sector organisations around Australia and was conducted in April and May 2017.
The study was conducted against a backdrop of estimated incidents of violent abuse by a current partner of 160,000 women and 68,100 men in Australia (2010 National Personal Safety Survey).
Intimate partner violence, commonly referred to as domestic violence, is generally understood as behaviour that inflicts either one or a combination of physical and psychological harm to a former or current intimate partner. It is recognised as a pervasive social malaise affecting various life domains, the family and the workplace prominent among them.
The aim of this study was to provide an overview of HR related policies and practices that support victims of domestic violence in Australian workplaces. In addition, it attempts to identify specific organisational characteristics that predict the extent to which different types of HR policies and practices are adopted to support victims of domestic violence.
While most respondent organisations claim a range of policies that touch on employee domestic violence matters, this study reveals the conversion into practice falls short.
• Around two thirds of the respondents indicate that their organisations have some form of policy in place relating to domestic violence.
• A third of respondents indicate their organisation has a dedicated family or domestic violence leave policy in place.
• Respondents report the main related policies in place centre on inclusion and diversity, flexible working arrangements, parental leave and bullying.
• The most specific practices in place to support victims of domestic violence centre around counselling for victims and a supporting organisational culture.
• Respondents report low incidence of training to equip managers and supervisors to support recognition and disclosure of domestic violence.
• The data reveals a relationship between the proportion of female senior management and domestic violence practices.
• A third of respondents believe that victims of domestic violence are less productive and report being ill more often.
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