Supporting staff who have disclosed domestic abuse
Remember that it can be very difficult for someone to disclose abusive behaviour to a line manager or colleague, particularly if the person affected is working from home. It is therefore really important to respond appropriately if a disclosure is made. For example, you should:
- show empathy and compassion;
- reassure the employee that the University is supportive of those experiencing domestic abuse; and
- be ready to signpost the employee to the resources available.
Agree to hold regular meetings/check-ins with the employee, particularly if they are working from home, so that you can regularly assess any support they need.
Depending on the circumstances, the following may be helpful:
- Support for an employee who wishes to update their payroll account details to an alternative bank account (this can be done through the HRIS Employee Self Service system)
- Removing contact details from the University webpages; if you have a departmental webpage you should be able to remove staff contact details or request not to have contact details on this page. For the university wide contact search please contact IT services.
- Flexibility in working hours, for example to enable the employee to arrange financial, legal, housing and childcare issues
- Arranging to divert phone calls or email messages if the employee is receiving inappropriate calls at work
- Making the reception desk aware if particular individuals should not be given access to the building
- Ensuring that the staff member has arrangements to get safely to and from the workplace
- The University has a Staff top-up fund which can help staff experiencing financial hardship.
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Supportive guidance/ policies
Safety at work
The university is committed to the security and safety of all students, staff, visitors and contractors on university premises. There should be departmental security arrangements for each site including guidance to follow if there is a concern for safety at work. This would include if a perpetrator of domestic abuse is harassing an individual at work, for example turning up at the workplace unannounced, constantly telephoning/ e-mailing/ messaging the employee while they are at work or harassing the employee’s colleagues.
A manager can take pre-emptive measures and contact the Crime Prevention Advisor in the University’s Security Services who can support staff with a safety plan at work.
Wherever there is a concern that somebody is at immediate risk of harm then please contact the police. In an emergency contact 999, for the police, fire or ambulance service. For non-emergencies contact the police on 101.
For emergency support relating to the university estate, please contact the Estates Services security team
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