Family violence is never okay. That’s why we support the NZ Government’s new Domestic Violence Victims’ Protection Bill. In fact, we even helped guide it.
The bill, which was passed by government last week, requires New Zealand employers to give victims of domestic violence up to 10 days paid leave from work, separate from their annual leave and sick leave. It also allows victims to request flexible working conditions and prohibits discrimination against them.
The Warehouse Group has already had a similar domestic violence policy in place since 2015 that provides affected team members with up to 10 days’ worth of paid leave and counselling support, as well as training for managers to help them support victims of domestic violence when they speak out.
The Warehouse CEO Pejman Okhovat said the safety of our people was paramount. “We recognise that we can play a significant role in helping to reduce family violence in our country. Our 12,000 employees are representative of the New Zealand population and if we can support them, then hopefully together we can make a real difference.”
In an interview with Maori Television, Okhovat encouraged other businesses to embrace the new law. “The real cost is the cost of not addressing this and bringing it to the surface and providing the support.”
Last month The Warehouse joined seven of NZ’s largest employers (TWG, ANZ, Progressive Enterprises, Vodafone NZ, Fonterra, Ricoh NZ, and EY) and the Human Rights Commission to draft a family violence policy template for all businesses to use if they wish to.
The model policy, which will be updated to meet the requirements of the Domestic Violence Victims’ Protection Bill, is available here.
Equal Opportunities commissioner Dr Jackie Blue said family violence doesn’t respect boundaries between home and the workplace. “With family violence being one of NZ’s most salient human rights issues, it is important that we all take responsibility to reduce this where we can. We are pleased to see businesses take up this challenge.”
No-one should ever feel frightened of their partner or someone else in their family. If you are experiencing family violence, please call the “It’s Not OK” helpline: 0800 456 450.