EY introduces paid leave for domestic abuse victims

18 January 2019 Consultancy.uk

Big Four professional services firm EY has introduced a series of policies aimed at aiding members of staff who are the victims of domestic abuse. Staff across the UK will now receive paid leave for domestic abuse, as well as access to counselling.

According to the Office for National Statistics, in the year ending March 2018, an estimated 2 million adults aged 16 to 59 years had experienced some form of domestic abuse. This saw 1.3 million women and 695,000 men impacted by domestic abuse, while data revealed police made 225,714 arrests for domestic abuse-related offences. This equates to 38 arrests per 100 domestic abuse-related crimes recorded, while the police recorded 599,549 domestic abuse-related crimes in the same year, an increase of 23% from 2017’s figures.

Over the course of a lifetime, meanwhile, a quarter of all women, and a sixth of all men currently experience domestic abuse in the UK. One aspect often overlooked when discussing this troubling societal issue is that three in every four of those victims are targeted at work. Despite the continued importance of the matter, analysis released by the Everyone’s Business campaign recently found that only 5% of businesses have a domestic abuse policy in place.

EY introduces paid leave for domestic abuse victims

In a bid to place greater impetus on companies to do their part in the fight against domestic abuse, Big Four firm EY has introduced a new range of policies to help victims at its firm. Those suffering domestic abuse are now entitled to a week of special paid leave as part of the launch of a domestic abuse pack of measures available for the firm’s 14,500 UK staff.

Other aspects of the pack include access to an independent domestic violence advisor and a counselling service for employees. EY has also introduced accredited training for key people within the business, which the firm hopes will assist in the identification and support of people who may need help.

Commenting on the development, Justine Campbell, EY’s Managing Partner for Talent, said, “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.”

The pack is supported by a new campaign aimed at encouraging employers to support employees who are affected by domestic abuse. Everyone’s Business is a cross-partnership programme, with members including Hestia, Employers Initiative on Domestic Abuse, The Corporate Alliance, Surviving Economic Abuse, Bulbshare, TecSOS, Women’s Trust, and Cardiff Women’s Aid.

Related: Deloitte, KPMG and PwC reveal UK Partners fired for inappropriate behaviour.


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