A new training and development program will help local organisations understand their responsibilities to staff who may be experiencing domestic and family violence, learn how to recognise the signs, and respond and refer safely.
Developed by Liberty Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Services, 'Everybody's Business' provides tailored training to support the safety and wellbeing of team members and assists managers to put policies and procedures in place to uphold their duty of care for staff.
Liberty CEO Kelly Lamb said COVID-19 has created an unprecedented situation with increasing rates of domestic violence coupled with increasing numbers of employees working from home or returning to the workplace after a period of remote working.
"For many, home is not a safe place," Mrs Lamb said.
"We know that domestic and family violence can become more frequent and severe during times of crisis and that public health measures, such as self-isolation and working from home arrangements, can increase workers' exposure to domestic violence. Financial pressures, increased stress and disconnection from support networks can also be contributing factors."
According to SafeWork Australia, employers 'must ensure workers and others are not exposed to risks to their health and safety, including from family and domestic violence in the workplace. This includes where the workplace is a worker's home.
Mrs Lamb said, "while this program is particularly relevant during COVID-19, it is important that employers understand they always have a role to play in ensuring the safety of staff experiencing domestic violence."
Earlier this year, Liberty worked with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to provide tailored domestic violence awareness training for 450 staff.
Former General Manager Craig Swift-McNair said Council was looking to understand how the organisation could support employees and their families who may be impacted by this very real issue.
"Key to the work Council has done in this space has been an ongoing partnership with Liberty who have supported us in growing our awareness, understanding and education in this very complex area. I would encourage any organisation who wants to start leading such conversations in their workplace to speak to Liberty," Mr Swift-McNair said.
Everybody's Business Domestic Violence Workplace Training is designed to build the capacity of businesses, universities, schools and community groups to comply with National SafeWork guidelines for a CovidSafe workplace, identify the signs of domestic violence and understand the impacts on individuals, relationships and workplaces.
The program helps organisations establish an inclusive, supportive workplace, built upon values of dignity and respect, that fosters strong employee engagement.
Liberty can tailor the program to meet an individual organisation's needs by providing the training in-person or virtually, catering to a range of businesses sizes. The program is available to employers within the Port Macquarie-Hastings area, surrounding regions such as Kempsey and Coffs Harbour, and beyond.
"This new training supports Liberty's mission to lead a community and whole-of-family response to eliminate domestic and family violence. We're helping employers create a culture where people have the tools and confidence to challenge violence-supporting attitudes and beliefs to make our communities safer places," Mrs Lamb said.
For more information call Liberty on 6583 2155 or visit www.libertyservices.org.au/everybodysbusiness
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