Vodafone Group have announced a new policy allowing time off for victims of domestic violence and abuse.
Employees globally will now be able to access support and specialist counselling, as well as up to 10 days additional paid leave.
The allocated time is for employees who have faced abuse time to make arrangements such as moving house, and supporting their children.
Training for team
Specialist training is also planned for HR managers to ensure they can better support those employees.
Vodafone Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the telecommunications giant, has worked with domestic violence and abuse expert Dr Jane Pillinger to develop a toolkit for all employers. The toolkit can be downloaded here.
The foundation has announced the expansion of Bright Sky, a free app which connects victims of domestic violence and abuse to advice and support services.
Bright Sky, created in partnership with the UK-based crisis support charity Hestia, enables users to locate their nearest support centre by searching their area, postcode or current location.
Impacts of abuse
Andrew Dunnett, Director, Vodafone Foundation, said the company’s research has highlighted the dangerous impacts of abuse on individuals.
“The result of our research shows the significant impact of domestic violence and abuse on people at work, affecting confidence, self-esteem and career progression. It also reveals how employers can help, ” he said.
“By developing apps like Bright Sky with our partners, across our footprint, we want to offer an easy and direct route to connect people affected by multiple forms of abuse to essential services and information that they need.”
The first countries outside of the UK to launch the app will be the Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, and Romania.
Dr Jane Pillinger said more and more companies are moving forward in providing support and leave for victims impacted by domestic abuse and violence.
“The work of the Vodafone Foundation in raising the profile of the issue and inspiring Vodafone’s commitment to recognise the impact domestic violence has at work, to respond with support and up to 10 days paid leave for affected employees, and to refer to specialist support, along with training for managers, is a major step forward and sends a strong signal to employees that the company takes the issue seriously.”
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, said the new research highlighted how much of the violence against women has been invisible, “yet powerfully damaging with career-long effects”.
She said: “When the workplace can become a safe and supportive environment for victims and survivors of domestic abuse, that is a major step forward. We hope to see other leaders adopt similar measures.”