Vodafone introduces domestic violence policy for employees


Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.55 4 Mar 2019


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Vodafone Ireland has announced a new policy that supports employees who have experienced domestic violence or abuse.

It provides 10 days additional leave, specialist counselling, management training and emergency financial assistance - such as help opening a new bank account and salary advances.

Research from the Vodafone Foundation showed that 31% of Irish workers experienced some form of domestic abuse, and 57% felt safer at work compared to home.

The study surveyed 4,712 men and women in employment across nine countries, and multiple industries.

Of the 500 men and women who participated in Ireland, the survey found that 31% had experienced some form of domestic abuse.

Of those, 63% experienced psychological abuse and control, 47% experienced physical violence, 23% experienced sexual violence or abuse and 19% experienced stalking.

While 21% said they experienced some form of domestic abuse daily and 28% said they experienced it two or three times a week.

The domestic violence policy is the first comprehensive programme of its kind.

The company has said the extra 'safe leave' will give people who are facing abuse a time of recovery, as well as the opportunity to seek professional help and make arrangements to move house, support their children or attend appointments without their abuser knowing their whereabouts.

Specialist training provided to Vodafone managers will also help them support people experiencing domestic violence or abuse, and encourage those affected to seek help.

Vodafone Vodafone Ireland CEO Anne O’Leary | Image: Vodafone

Vodafone has said the policy, which comes ahead of International Women's Day, is part of its ongoing commitment to fight gender inequality.

Speaking on the launch of the policy, Vodafone Ireland CEO Anne O'Leary said: "I am very proud to introduce our new domestic violence policy in Ireland.

"This policy rolls out real supports and procedures for employees experiencing domestic violence or abuse.

"With one-third of Irish workers experiencing domestic abuse and one in five Irish women affected by domestic violence, workplace supports for victims are of paramount importance."

Margaret Martin, director of Women's Aid, added: "Domestic violence is a crime that affects hundreds of thousands of women in Ireland.

"The Women's Aid 24 hour National Freephone Helpline responds to over 50 calls a day from women experiencing emotional, physical, sexual and financial abuse in their own homes and in their relationships.

"We know this is just the tip of the iceberg and believe that it is important that women are able to access really good support from support networks, health professionals and critically, at work.

"The new Vodafone Domestic Violence Policy is remarkably comprehensive and innovative and we would really encourage other employers in Ireland to follow their lead."

"The policy understands the prevalence of domestic violence and the impact it can have on employees. We hope that by taking this initiative that Vodafone Ireland help increase safety and support for their employees experiencing domestic violence."

Vodafone Group has introduced the policy across all of its operating companies.

It will shortly launch an app in Ireland to connect victims of domestic violence or abuse to advice and support services here.

Women's Aid can be contacted 24 hours on 1800-341-900.


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Anne O’Leary Domestic Abuse Policy Domestic Violence Policy For Employees Margaret Martin Safe Leave Vodafone Vodafone Ireland

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