Stuff is the latest Kiwi organisation, and fourth employer overall, to become DVFREE Tick accredited; showing its commitment to create a domestic violence-free workplace where staff can feel safe and free from harm, and get the support they need.
Stuff CEO Sinead Boucher says: “While New Zealand may be socially-forward in other areas, our domestic violence rates are absolutely shocking. At Stuff, we’ve been supporting staff in need behind the scenes for many years, so we’re proud to get the DVFREE Tick and let our people know loud and clear to seek help if and when they should ever need it.”
Stuff has offered staff 10 days’ paid leave to help with domestic violence-related issues since March 2017 – ahead of the government requirement coming into force on 1 April as part of the Domestic Violence Victims’ Protection Act 2018.
Stuff’s People & Culture team has been working with leading domestic violence charity organisation, Shine, to obtain the DVFREE Tick. Shine’s DVFREE and Policy Advisor Holly Carrington says she’s very pleased to welcome Stuff to the DVFREE Tick family.
“It’s great to have an organisation with a voice as big as Stuff’s blazing the trail for other New Zealand employers to address domestic violence in the workplace in a meaningful way. As a collective force, employers can play a huge role in addressing New Zealand’s domestic violence epidemic,” says Carrington.
“Because this is such a sensitive issue, staff experiencing domestic violence need to be confident the person they turn to at work has the ability to respond safely and effectively,” says Carrington. “This response could be anything from emotional support and a referral to Shine’s Helpline, to creating a workplace safety plan which could, for example, include getting a trespass order to keep their abuser off the work site.”
As well as a new Domestic Violence Policy and new Domestic Violence Guideline, the DVFREE Tick sees key Stuff personnel trained as ‘First Responders’ to be fully equipped to deal with domestic violence issues and create safety plans for staff at risk – with training rolling out to all managers in the next six months.
“There are many ways we are trying to help at Stuff,” says Boucher. “Whether it’s a confidential chat with one of our trained First Responders, a private accessible phone, other security measures, or organising urgent leave, flexible working and even redeployment – we really hope those staff who otherwise may have been too embarrassed or scared will come forward knowing they will be well-supported.”
To celebrate achieving the DVFREE Tick and to take a stand against domestic violence in New Zealand, Stuff is joining Shine’s national fundraising campaign Light it Orange, running this week from 4 to 10 March.
Shine’s free guidelines and resources are available online and can help employers take a best-practice approach, rather than doing the bare minimum required by law.
While Stuff is the fourth employer awarded the DVFREE Tick, a further ten employers are currently working towards the DVFREE Tick with a rapidly growing number engaged with DVFREE services.
- New Zealand has the highest reported rates of domestic violence in all developed countries
- More than three-quarters of family violence incidents here are not reported to police
- You can see more troubling domestic violence stats here
- Shine’s free services for employers and information about the DVFREE Tick are available at www.dvfree.org.nz