Domestic abuse can destroy lives, leaving physical and emotional scars. Those experiencing domestic abuse can find themselves isolated from friends and family and lose their independence. It can take many forms, not just physical abuse; it can also be financial, emotional and psychological. 

Domestic abuse has an impact at work. Research shows that a high proportion of those enduring domestic abuse are targeted at work. Domestic abuse can negatively affect those abused as well as their workplace colleagues. However, importantly, the workplace can often be one of the few places that a person experiencing abuse can be separate from their abuser, and therefore can be the place where people are able to ask for and access support. 


It’s essential that employers are knowledgeable about domestic abuse as they are ideally placed to offer key support to those experiencing it. The aim of this guidance, produced with the EHRC, is to encourage more employers to take an active supporting role, which can make a huge difference to employees experiencing domestic abuse and their future, with practical recommendations of how to do that.   

We recommend employers have a clear policy in place on supporting employees experiencing domestic abuse, but also an effective framework of support. Most importantly though, employees need to be made aware of the policy and how to access support if they need it. We propose that this framework of employer support could be made up of four steps: 

  • Recognise the problem 
  • Respond appropriately to disclosure 
  • Provide support 
  • Refer to the appropriate help. 


Why act now on domestic abuse?

Why is domestic abuse a workplace issue?

Developing an effective framework around domestic abuse support

The role of HR, people managers and employees

What should a domestic abuse policy contain?

Below are key areas that can be included within a domestic abuse workplace policy. It is important that all organisations develop their own workplace policy to reflect the needs of their employees.

Signposting to supportive services, charities and organisations

Further resources and guidance for employers

Frequently asked questions

Case study - Vodafone


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