Family violence and workplaces
What happens at home can affect what happens at work.
While family violence may not at first appear to be a union or workplace issue, there is now international evidence that those with a history of family violence have a more disrupted work history, are consequently on lower personal incomes, have had to change jobs more often and are employed at higher levels in casual and part-time work than those with no experience of violence.
Those who are victims of family violence may:
- Be distressed, depressed, anxious, distracted or fearful at work
- Need to take time off work to attend court, seek medical attention, counselling or other support
- Leave their job because they are hiding from their abuser
- Have a protection order which could have implications for the workplace (e.g. the violent person cannot contact or go to the workplace)
- Have the ability to work sabotaged by the violent person (e.g. through damage to their car so that they are late for work or work taken home may be destroyed).
Those who are perpetrators of family violence may:
- Pose a risk to the victim’s colleagues
- Pose a risk to workers and clients in their own workplace
- Use work time and resources to harass, stalk and monitor their victim (e.g. calling the victim many times a day to control what they are doing)
- Have a protection order against them, which means that they are not allowed access to weapons (guns, knives etc.)
- Need to take time off to attend court or stopping violence programmes.