Dickson calls for a review of support mechanisms for staff experiencing domestic abuse

Alliance Economy Spokesperson Stewart Dickson MLA has called for employers to review their policies and procedures to ensure those experiencing domestic abuse receive the right support.

Stewart Dickson Domestic Violence Violence Against Women and Girls


The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November) marked the launch of the UNiTE campaign — 16 days of activism concluding on International Human Rights Day (10 December).


Speaking during the campaign, he said: “Too often, women endure physical, mental, sexual, and financial trauma, and out of a sense of fear and shame, feel unable to report their experiences.


“For women who find themselves in that position, it is important that you know that your employer has a legal duty of care to protect you whilst at work. The workplace can be a lifeline for survivors of domestic abuse.


“Employers must review their policies and procedures to ensure that the right support mechanisms are in place for staff experiencing domestic violence. For example, possible measures to implement could be facilitating paid leave for medical and legal appointments, improving workplace security, and offering mental health support.


“It is also important that employers and work colleagues are aware of the challenges working from home and hybrid-work arrangements may pose for some, and how they may potentially increase the risk posed to those experiencing domestic abuse. Working with colleagues may be their only engagement with the outside world, and therefore their work relationships may be their best chance of getting help.


“If you are worried about a colleague or employee the most important thing to remember is that help is available.”