PSA to employers: make this White Ribbon Day count

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This White Ribbon Day, the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi is challenging employers to make this year count - and adopt policies to support staff experiencing family violence.

A few public sector employers have committed to specific policies or clauses in agreements, but only one state sector agency provides for special family violence leave: the GCSB.

"It’s a sad fact that the private sector does much, much better than the public sector in supporting its employees who are affected by family violence", PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk says.

"In a survey the PSA conducted two years ago, a quarter of our members had personally experienced family violence.

"Our home lives affect our working lives, and victims of family violence are distressed, anxious and fearful.

"We estimate the annual cost to the State as an employer is nearly $50 million - but more than affecting an employer’s bottom line, supporting employees is just the right thing to do.

The Human Rights Commission has launched a campaign to get employers to adopt a family violence policy, and the PSA is in full support of this.

"The PSA’s website has a comprehensive list of resources, including model clauses to insert into employment agreements," Ms Polaczuk says.

"We also make suggestions about other ways employers can support their staff, through health and safety policies and education programmes.

"Employers who back anti-violence programmes, support victims and educate staff send a clear message that domestic violence is not OK.

"This White Ribbon Day, we urge employers to make it count - and commit to putting policies in place."