A Family Friendly Workplace Case Study
Domestic and family abuse is one of the most prevalent human rights abuses in Australia and New Zealand. This impacts on our community, individuals and the workplace. Our workplace may well be the safest place that some of our team members have, and in that context we can all play an important role in providing support and getting the help needed.
In recognising this, at Lion we have expanded the support we provide which includes policy enhancements and greater support for victims.
Previously we expanded our Domestic and Family Violence Policy with no fixed number of days per year which can be used to enable victims to access support. We also provided support to assist an individual to confidentially change their bank account directions from a joint account to a personal account, as well as offering emergency financial support in the form of varying salary arrangements (e.g. cashing out annual leave) to support team members in an emergency.
On International Day for the Elimination of Gender Based Violence in 2021, we went further to support those that need it, when they need it.
This new support includes:
1. Providing emergency short term accommodation for individuals and their immediate families, in crisis.
2. Providing a separate loan mobile phone which can assist with personal safety if a team member has reason to believe their personal mobile phone or device may have been compromised.
3. Upskilling the Respect at Lion Champions as First Responders to domestic and family abuse recognising that not all victims will be comfortable going directly to their Leader for support.
4. Partnering with specialist domestic and family violence organisations to provide direct avenues for expert counselling and support for employees experiencing domestic and family abuse.
5. Being bold in communicating our support and recognition that domestic and family abuse is a workplace issue including:
- Development of a dedicated Sharepoint Page to house support available.
- Communication of newly developed resources to support Leaders and individuals.
6. Updating the name and ongoing communication of the Domestic and Family Violence Policy to Domestic and Family Abuse Policy in line with progressed thinking. This recognises that abuse also includes emotional and financial abuse as well as coercive control.
7. Providing specific online resources and guides for the LGBTQ community, recognising the nuances in the way abuse can represent itself for this community as well as ensuring specific examples are provided in the Policy referencing the LGBTQ community.
These enhancements and improved support are best practice and we are proud that Lion is an organisation that is leaning into this important issue.
LION became officially certified as a Family Inclusive Workplace™ in National Families Week, on May 18th 2022. Their position on Domestic & Family Violence is in line with best practice guidelines in the Family Wellbeing sector (please refer to the four pillars within the National Work + Family Standards).
Listen to the Family Friendly Workplace podcast below to hear more from Sarah Abbott, Global Inclusion & Diversity Lead at Lion, on the importance of having a Domestic & Family Abuse & Violence policy in place.