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This document is a policy document which can be used by organisations in the United Kingdom to show their commitment and appropriate approach to supporting its workplace with issues relating to domestic abuse. To ensure inclusivity, the policy covers all staff members regardless of their employment status (for example workers, employees etc).
Domestic abuse has now been given statutory definitions separately in Scotland, England and Wales, and Northern Ireland, in the context of criminalising domestic abuse. Domestic abuse can cover a whole range of behaviours perpetrated towards an individual by another person who is personally connected to them (often as partners or spouses). The statutory definitions are set out slightly differently in each jurisdiction, however abusive behaviour could be characterised by any of the following:
This policy document can include information such as:
The government has previously published an open letter to employers. The letter encouraged employers to ensure that signs of domestic abuse can be spotted and to help staff to feel more comfortable raising the issue of domestic abuse. The letter also highlighted the importance of staff receiving appropriate support and that the support available should be clear for all to see. As a result, it is extremely useful for an organisation to hold a policy, such as the one contained in this document, to illustrate this.
How to use this document
There is no legal requirement for the policy document to be signed, although it may be a positive step for an organisation to take in order to show its commitment and endorsement of the contents of the policy.
Once the policy has been finalised, it should be stored in a place which can easily be accessed and referred to by staff members (for example on the intranet, or staff handbook etc). Staff members should be notified of the location of the policy.
The most relevant legal provisions are:
The following guidelines are also useful for organisations to consider:
You can choose to consult a lawyer if you need help.
The lawyer can answer your questions or help you through the process. You will be offered this option when you complete the document.How to modify the template
You fill out a form. The document is created before your eyes as you respond to the questions.
At the end, you receive it in Word and PDF formats. You can modify it and reuse it.