The ACT Public Service (ACTPS) recognises that workplaces have an important role in preventing and responding to domestic and family violence in our communities. Indeed, employers have a legal responsibility to create safe work environments. But beyond this, workplaces significantly influence our attitudes, beliefs and behaviours in both our personal and professional lives.
To reduce violence, workplace cultures need to reject sexism and discriminatory attitudes, confront organisational practices that devalue, exclude or marginalise women and support increasing the number of female leaders.
The role of violence in our society is a complicated one, we know that while men overall experience more violence than women, men also use most of the violence. What is clear is both men and women have an enormous amount to gain from reducing violence in our community.
Women’s experiences of violence, even if occurring in the home, impact on the workplace. By implementing programs and policies to prevent violence against women, workplaces stand to benefit through increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, decreased staff turnover and improved staff health and wellbeing. According to estimates, Australian employers are losing $1.3 billion annually as a result of violence against women.
The ACTPS Domestic and Family Violence Toolkit provides a range of guidance materials, for employees and managers, to support employees who are experiencing domestic and family violence.
The Toolkit was originally released in 2017. Since then we know more and much has changed including the Office of the Coordinator-General for Family Safety led the co-design of the Family Safety Hub. Through that process, we learnt that people experiencing domestic and family violence disclose to people they trust, who are often outside the specialist service system, and that many people are afraid of the consequences of seeking help and need anonymous ways to get information to help them find safety. In 2018, the Toolkit was updated to reflect these learnings.
In 2019, staff training in understanding, identifying and responding to DFV will be available to all ACTPS employees, and managers training will also be available.
The Toolkit materials listed below are available on the Safer Families website:
- Whole-of-Government message
- ACTPS Domestic and Family Violence Policy
- Leave for domestic and family violence purposes
- Guide to responding to domestic and family violence
- Where to get help
Coordinator General, Family Safety
Community Services Directorate
Deputy Director-General Workforce Capability and Governance
Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate
10 December 2018