Supporting staff suffering domestic abuse

The EHRC and CIPD published guidance (March 2013) demonstrates that:

  • Domestic abuse currently costs UK businesses over £1.9 billion a year
  • In the UK, in any one year, more than 20% of employed women take time off work because of domestic violence, and 2% lose their jobs as a direct result of the abuse
  • 75% of women that experience domestic abuse are targeted at work – from harassing phone calls and abusive partners arriving at the office unannounced, to physical assaults
  • Men can experience domestic abuse from their female partner
  • Domestic abuse also occurs in same sex relationships

Common actions for line managers:


  • Believe an employee if they disclose experiencing domestic abuse - do not ask for proof.
  • Reassure the employee that the organisation has an understanding of how domestic abuse may affect their work performance and the support that can be offered.

Provide support

  • Divert phone calls and email messages and look to change a phone extension if an employee is receiving harassing calls.
  • Agree with the employee what to tell colleagues and how they should respond if their ex/partner telephones or visits the workplace.
  • Ensure the employee does not work alone or in an isolated area and check that staff have arrangements for getting safely to and from home.
  • Keep a record of any incidents of abuse on the workplace, including persistent telephone calls, emails or visits to the workplace. 

Refer to the appropriate help/Report

You can anonymously report any form of domestic abuse which you or someone you know has experienced using the Report and Support tool. You can also choose to use this tool to report using your contact details so a Human Resources adviser can get in touch with you to help provide support.