From March 2021, Women’s Refuge Responsive Workplaces Programme and Accreditation will be merging with Shine’s DVFREE Programme and DVFREE Tick Accreditation. The merged programme will run under the banner of DVFREE, with the endorsement of Women’s Refuge.
This merger eliminates unnecessary duplication of services, within a specialist sector which continues to be significantly under-resourced for addressing the epidemic of family violence in Aotearoa New Zealand.
DVFREE support can help to ensure that:
- Your employees who experience domestic violence are offered the most effective workplace support and safety possible, including a referral to specialist services that may be Women’s Refuge, Shine or another specialist provider.
- Your workplace is prepared to respond appropriately and safely to employees who perpetrate domestic violence, and
- All of your employees know what to do if they’re aware that a colleague is experiencing or perpetrating domestic violence
Domestic violence is a New Zealand epidemic. Any large employer, and many smaller employers, will have employees who experience domestic violence. It has a significant impact on the wellbeing and productivity of employees who experience it, as well as on co-workers and other people around them. It impacts on employees who are supporting a child or someone else close to them who experiences it. And it impacts on the wellbeing and productivity of employees who perpetrate it. The financial cost of domestic violence to New Zealand employers is estimated to be close to $400 million a year.
Employers and businesses can play a vital role in creating a safe and supportive workplace for employees who experience domestic violence, and holding staff accountable for work-related domestic violence while supporting change. Collectively, employers can drive a culture shift to dramatically reduce rates of domestic violence across New Zealand. Increasingly, businesses also want to provide a safe and supportive response to customers who experience domestic violence. Taking steps to create a good domestic violence workplace programme and customer response programme demonstrates social responsibility, and proactively contributes to solving an insidious social problem.
AA Insurance’s Head of People and Capability, Nikki Howell explained why AA Insurance chose to get the DVFREE Tick: “Our people are the most important part of our business and looking after staff, which positively affects business outcomes, is a good reason to take a stand against violence. The other is that it’s just the right thing to do.”