Guidance developed for employers on Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse

Date published: 22 November 2018

The Department of Health and Department of Justice have published new Guidance on how employers can increase awareness and respond more effectively to domestic and sexual violence and abuse.

Domestic sexual violence workplace policy

The Guidance was launched at an event in Belfast City Hall, attended by trade unions and statutory, voluntary and community sector colleagues who helped develop the Guidance.

This is the latest initiative to be delivered under the Stopping Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy. It will support employers by providing a checklist of the key areas to include in a Workplace Policy along with information on practical measures that can be taken to support employees who have been affected by, or are at risk of, domestic and sexual violence and abuse.

Support in the workplace is often about being aware and sign posting employees to organisations that provide specialist support to victims and those who are working with them or their family and friends.

Having a workforce policy that supports employees experiencing domestic and sexual violence and abuse can help employers recruit and retain staff, it can help increase staff morale and productivity, prevent unnecessary disciplinary action as well as communicating a powerful message to both employees and potential employees. Having a workforce policy not only makes sound business and economic sense for employers but importantly will help them fulfil their duty of care to their employees.

The 24 Hour Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline (Telephone: 0808 802 1414) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for anyone who is in need of support.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Guidance for Employers on Developing a Workplace Policy on Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse is available on the nibusinessinfo website.
  2. The Stopping Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy and initiatives can also be accessed on the Department of Health website
    or alternatively on the Department of Justice website.
  3. For media enquiries please contact the Department of Health Press Office team on 028 9052 0575 or email For out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110 and your call will be returned
  4. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt.

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