The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has joined the Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse (EIDA) as a ‘beacon’ member, supporting its employees who may have been victims or who are at risk of violence or intimidation at home.
The announcement follows a wider BEIS consultation, aimed at increasing support for victims of domestic abuse across the UK, including a review in January 2021 looking at workplace support.
It found that few employers are aware of the signs of domestic abuse, and even fewer have a clear policy in place to support survivors.
Business minister Paul Scully said: “Home should always be a safe place, but for many this sadly isn’t the case. For anyone experiencing or at risk from domestic abuse, I want to make sure help and support is readily available to them in the workplace.
“No one should have to suffer in silence, and that’s why my department is joining the Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse to ensure employees get the support they need. I would urge more businesses to join this important initiative, as this simple step could have a life-changing impact on domestic abuse survivors.”
Benefits of becoming an EIDA beacon member include access to training, including specialists who can offer a strategic review of domestic abuse and action, and support implementing HR processes and procedures to help victims, survivors and potential perpetrators.
BEIS joins several organisations already part of the beacon programme. For more details on the current membership, please see the EIDA website.
Earlier this year, in an open letter to all UK employers, Scully outlined key steps they can take to build awareness of domestic abuse and ensure they are noticing warning signs, and help workers access the support they need.
Elizabeth Filkin, chair of the EIDA, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Department for Business to the EIDA network. We also thank the minister and his team for all they have already done to raise awareness of the role of employers in tackling domestic abuse.
“Working with government, charities, and opinion formers to stop domestic abuse and to get help for victims, there has been much progress in recognising the scale and impact of abuse and what steps business can take to stop it. But there is more to do. The BEIS contribution to our network will enable us to make great strides forward toward our aim of ending domestic abuse once and for all.”
Other EIDA members include the BBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Sainsbury’s and Uber. EIDA is a network of businesses, which aims to enable employers to take action on domestic abuse, raising awareness among employees, supporting those facing domestic abuse, and providing access to services to help perpetrators to stop.