Workplaces and employers must do more to tackle domestic violence, according to a new report from the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).
n light of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25th November, ITF and and the Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children released a report focusing on how workplaces are at greater risk of accidents, injuries and fatalities when men engage in domestic violence at work.
Titled Shifting the focus: impacts on workplaces when men engage in domestic violence, the paper evidences that domestic violence perpetration has a major impact on the safety and productivity of workplaces.
In order to eliminate domestic violence, we must shift the focus. From the workplace perspective, this report shows the detrimental impact that domestic violence perpetration has on the workplace from increased risk of accidents, injuries, and fatalities to reduced productivity. This puts responsibility on employers to take action and lead the way by developing and supporting policies and procedures that create safer workplaces, and critically engage men in conversation about domestic violence prevention and intervention.
…said ITF General Secretary Stephen Cotton.
In order to eliminate domestic violence and in eliminating the negative impacts of its perpetration on the workplace, employers must take action to overcome several barriers. Namely, employers can lead the way by developing and supporting policies and procedures that create safer workplaces.
Training and support for management and workers of all levels can help reduce the occurrence of DV and, in turn, reduce the negative impact DV perpetration has on workplaces.
8 core recommendations for employers to create safer workplaces
- Develop workplace policies and procedures for DV perpetration that include DV workplace risk assessments, reporting procedures, and support for workers who have experienced DV, as per ILO Convention 190.
- Develop concrete education, awareness raising, and training materials that are accessible to workers and appropriate to their workplace.
- Support and facilitate the creation of Women’s Advocate positions within unionised and non-unionised, formal and informal, work environments.
- Foster strong leadership on issues of DV in the workplace and proactively engage workers in conversation around issues of DV prevention and intervention, including working with women employees and women’s advocates.
- Provide specialised training to teach workers about DV and its impacts on families and workplaces.
- Implement progressive discipline policies that engage perpetrators of DV and work with them to change their behaviour in a positive and supportive way, including through mandatory counselling and programmes that teach them about the impact of violence and harassment.
- Develop a health and safety committee (in larger workplaces) or identify health and safety representatives (in smaller workplaces) that take on a leadership role in education, training, and awareness raising initiatives in workplaces and that work collaboratively with Women’s Advocates.
- Provide and circulate lists of internal and external resources for survivors and perpetrators of DV, including legal, counselling, and safety planning resources, in an accessible and prominently visible location.
As Diana Holland, ITF Women Transport Workers’ Committee Chair said: “Too often, domestic violence is dismissed as a private matter, but we can now show conclusively that employers have significant liability – as well as a serious moral responsibility – to do more to end domestic violence amongst their workforce.”
Attracting and retaining women is a challenge in the transport industry. Transport is vital to women’s lives yet remains a male-dominated industry where women are grossly underrepresented and too often the victims of violence and harassment.
“Covid-19 has further exacerbated the shadow pandemic of violence against women, so right now it’s crucial that all employers read this report and implement its recommendations so that every transport worker is safe. It’s also a reminder to governments that they too can play their role in eradicating violence and harassment in the world of work and join the growing list of countries ratifying the C190 Convention on violence and harassment,” said Holland.