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Workplace Domestic Abuse Policy Fill out the template

Workplace Domestic Abuse Policy

Last revision
Last revision 03/09/2023
Formats Word and PDF
Size 3 to 5 pages
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Last revisionLast revision: 03/09/2023

FormatsAvailable formats: Word and PDF

SizeSize: 3 to 5 pages

Option: Help from a lawyer

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Workplace Domestic Abuse Policy

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:

  • violent, threatening, frightening or intimidating behaviour; or
  • attempts to isolate a person from friends/family/sources of support; or
  • physical or sexual abuse; or
  • controlling or coercive behaviour; or
  • monitoring a person's day-to-day activities; or
  • humiliating or degrading a person;
  • economic abuse; or
  • psychological and emotional abuse.

This policy document can include information such as:

  • the support which is available to workers and employees who have experienced domestic abuse; and
  • the adjustments that the business may be able to offer to those who have experienced domestic abuse; and
  • how staff members can raise or discuss the issue of domestic abuse; and
  • addressing the risks of home-working for those who may be experiencing domestic abuse; and
  • how the organisation shall deal with the relevant information in a confidential and sensitive manner; and
  • how the organisation shall address a situation where a person is perpetrating abuse during working hours or is perpetrating abuse in a manner which is connected to work (with reference to the relevant disciplinary procedures).

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 organisation may also wish to consider revising other policies which will be relevant to the matter of domestic abuse, such as its health and safety policy or its remote work policy.

Relevant law

The most relevant legal provisions are:

  • The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 (England and Wales);
  • The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 (Scotland);
  • The Domestic Abuse and Civil Proceedings Act (Northern Ireland) 2021(Northern Ireland);
  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (Great Britain);
  • The Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 (Northern Ireland);
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (Great Britain);
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (NI) 2000 (Northern Ireland).

The following guidelines are also useful for organisations to consider:

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