Domestic violence and workplace productivity

April 3rd, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The commissioned some unusual, but interesting, research – on the impact of domestic violence on workplace productivity.

The executive summary:

is a workplace issue. It is estimated to cost employers in New Zealand at least
$368 million for the June year 2014. …

Employment is a key pathway out of domestic violence. The body of research about domestic
violence over the past 30 years finds conclusively that staying in employment is critical to reducing
the effects of violence. Security of employment enables those affected by domestic violence to
maintain domestic and economic stability, in this way assisting them to find a pathway out of
violence and to successfully re-build their lives.

This makes sense. If a partner is not working, they are more likely to remain in a domestic situation with violence as they’ll be nervous about leaving their partner if they are reliant on them for the household income.

Employers have the potential of productivity gains from implementing workplace protections that
support victims of domestic violence. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that as
well as the potential for breaking the cycle of domestic violence, the introduction of workplace
protections for people affected by domestic violence both saves employers costs (recruitment,
retention, re-training, health and safety) and increases productivity.

I’m not quite sure what workplaces can do (assuming the partner does not work there also) except generally be sensitive to any staff who experience domestic violence.

For every woman whose experience of violence is prevented as result of the workplace protections
in a particular year, an average of $3,371 in production-related costs can be avoided. This number
is conservative as outlined in the body of the report.

So what do they recommend:

  • That employers create and implement tailored domestic violence human resources policies
    that can be integrated with existing health and safety policies
  • That an on-line induction module be prepared that is freely available to all organisations
    which includes knowledge about domestic violence
  • To work with peak bodies to motivate take up of existing programmes focused on training to
    recognise, respond to and reduce domestic violence
  • Based on successful overseas practice, develop and implement a national policy that entitles
    victims of domestic violence to up to 10 days special leave

All violent crimes are bad, but I have to say I have an extra level of malice towards those who commit domestic violence. Your home is meant to be the one place where you are safe.

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21 Responses to “Domestic violence and workplace productivity”

  1. Viking2 (11,561 comments) says:

    Interesting discussion.
    Plenty of times when I note that some of the women who work for us are safer here at work than they are at home. Seen it other businesses that I am familiar with as well.

    But, the issue is better addressed by encouraging those women to consider their situations at home and to place them with other women who have managed to resume a normal life without the violence. One of the problems is always getting the woman to leave that situation. The strength comes from those that have done it.
    Its a waste of time trying to convince a person to leave the situation if you are an employer but you can encourage the people around them to influence the person subject to that violence.

    One day at a time and remember it takes 90 days to change an attitude.

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  2. Chuck Bird (4,923 comments) says:

    “This makes sense. If a partner is not working, they are more likely to remain in a domestic situation with violence as they’ll be nervous about leaving their partner if they are reliant on them for the household income.”

    That depends on what the partner is earning. If the partner is on a low income a woman could be financially better off on the DPB.

    The PSA is obviously sexist and bias. The are plenty of studies here and overseas that show domestic violence is initiated equally by men and woman. If it was predominately men lesbian relationships would be harmonious.

    The surest way to reduce domestic violence is to encourage marriage.

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  3. mikenmild (11,677 comments) says:

    ‘The surest way to reduce domestic violence is to encourage marriage’. A special message direct from la-la land.

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  4. Chris2 (770 comments) says:

    I fail to see why employers should be expected to fund domestic violence prevention programmes.

    Next the do-gooders will demand to have mechanical repair programme for employees so their cars do not break down, making them late for work and less productive because they have to catch the bus.

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  5. duggledog (1,585 comments) says:

    Or, people could take direct responsibility for their shit decisions, or try not making them in the first place. like not shacking up with some deadbeat who can’t handle real life, and then having his kids

    Your most important decision in life is your choice of life partner

    The PSA, jesus christ. This has nothing to do with employers, it’s an added layer of bureaucracy.

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  6. Chuck Bird (4,923 comments) says:

    “A special message direct from la-la land.”

    Yeah right. And how many children severely beaten or murdered were living with both parents living with each other?

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  7. mikenmild (11,677 comments) says:

    Irrelevant. The formal legal nature of a personal relationship does not cause different behaviour.

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  8. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    It is very difficult recommend any of the organisations that presently supplies help and support.

    The individuals involved with for example womans refuge do to make a huge difference .

    However their collective political ideology is highly suspect.

    https://womensrefuge.org.nz/WR/About-Us/Treaty-of-Waitangi.htm

    What does parallel(aparthied)! development mean in practice at Women’s Refuge?

    Parallel development shapes our structure and our services. We have:

    equal representation of tangata whenua and tauiwi in decision-making bodies such as our Core Group Te Taumata o Te Kōwhai
    caucusing of our Māori members at local, regional and national meetings, and in some cases having parallel staff positions such as Service Development Māori and Service Development Tauiwi
    a National Māori Women’s Hui and a separate Tauiwi gathering held each year to allow staff and volunteers to discuss issues within refuges
    sharing of all donations between general refuges and their sister Māori refuges
    tangata whenua and tauiwi women both addressing public meetings and facilitating training sessions
    tauiwi commitment to ongoing training about the Treaty and decolonisation.

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  9. kowtow (8,753 comments) says:

    “Tauiwi”…….now there’s a really offensive ,racist piece of hate speech.

    If they’re so keen on separatism then only white money should be allocated to whites and the browns can fund themselves…….

    ……let’s see how well that works for the “true people of the land”!

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  10. pcplod (29 comments) says:

    From my experience a big help towards seriously reducing domestic violence would be for when police attend they should ask two questions;
    First – Who lives here? Second – How do you receive income?

    Using the example where the male partner is the violent one; If the male lives in the home but income is for the mother (and children) from WINZ then she is probably committing fraud. The mother risks arrest.
    If the mother states the male does not live in the home then he can be arrested for home invasion. The mother cannot then thwart any conviction.

    I have experience of this and in most cases this is a typical example the situation.

    Domestic violence is not an employers responsibility.

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  11. JC (971 comments) says:

    It all sounds very nice but its really just peddling the same old shit that women are always the victim when we know they institute around 50% of DV. Any workplace policy should recognise this and make the policy work for men as well.

    Alternately employers should forget this policy crap and simply deal with individual cases as they occur. Training on how to deal with it is fine, but don’t institutionalize prejudice any more than it is already.

    As for the PSA with its vast preponderance of female members.. well, they would produce such a policy, wouldn’t they.

    JC

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  12. mikenmild (11,677 comments) says:

    Yes pcplod, when called to a domestic violence incident the Police should immediately interrogate the woman involved in case there is welfare fraud. What a pillock.

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  13. georgedarroch (317 comments) says:

    Having workplaces support victims of domestic violence is not a communist plot.

    Michael Barnett, head of the Auckland Chamber, said that businesses are well placed to recognize the signals that arise from domestic violence, and then take appropriate action.

    “Many of the people trapped in events of domestic violence display common signs. These might include (other than obvious physical signs), taking time off, lack of productivity or health issues.

    “Being a good employer doesn’t mean we have to be social workers, but as with everyone else in the community we have a broader social responsibility,” said Mr Barnett.

    Besides, with research showing that significant savings could be made by employers if victims of domestic violence are properly supported in the workplace, it makes the workplace an important place for intervention.

    He noted that the intent of the Bill is to create systems that link employers and victims to specialist services to ensure the best response, and remove the stress and uncertainty out of the situation.

    http://www.aucklandchamber.co.nz/News/Press-Releases/Business-role-to-help-address-domestic-violence.aspx

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  14. Chuck Bird (4,923 comments) says:

    How many of you are aware that domestic violence can include saying unkind things to ones partner?

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  15. mikenmild (11,677 comments) says:

    I’m guessing here that married women tolerate verbal abuse better.

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  16. Chuck Bird (4,923 comments) says:

    mikenmild

    Are you male, female or indeterminate?

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  17. mikenmild (11,677 comments) says:

    For the purposes of this blog, I’m male.

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  18. peterwn (3,302 comments) says:

    The PSA is effectively after employer handouts (paid for by the ratepayer and taxpayer) in the form of in house welfare, advisory and counselling schemes – also to force employers to ‘carry’ non-performing employees who claim they are under stress because of home circumstances etc through enhanced sick leasve or otherwise.

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  19. kowtow (8,753 comments) says:

    chuck

    You’re onto it.And definitions are extending all the time.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/children_shealth/10732982/Parents-who-starve-children-of-love-face-jail.html

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  20. pcplod (29 comments) says:

    mikenmild (8,323 comments) says:
    April 3rd, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    For the purposes of this blog, I’m male.

    I doubt you would really know what you are. my best guess is that you are A sexual. Not important except you are blind to the truth which makes you ‘part of the problem’ Good luck with your karma.

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  21. artemisia (254 comments) says:

    A large company I worked for made 3 people redundant in a narrow timeframe. One, a manager who had had a close relationship with Personnel, was told on the QT that risk minimisation decisions were made where people had taken stress leave fairly recently. All 3 had. Under OSH legislation there are very serious financial penalties or even jail if the workplace does not take action and serious harm ensues.

    It is quite possible that external factors contribute to work place stress. Sounds to me like a slippery slope could get more slippery.

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