Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) is a significant issue in Australia affecting approximately one in four women. DFV can happen to anyone, regardless of where they live, their profession, their education, or their age. Since this issue is so widespread and can have such an impact, FTMA has created a free DFV policy for members to generate awareness and support you in taking a stand against domestic and family violence and ensuring you are providing a Supportive Work Haven for your employees.
The FTMA Fabricator Census completed in 2019 showed that our industry is made up of 88.1% men. Yet, we are always hearing that we can’t attract enough workers, or the right workers and we believe by addressing key social issues such as DFV, fabricators can make themselves employers of choice and attract more women into our industry.
The Benefits of Taking a Stand Against DFV
By taking a stand against DFV, businesses can generate the following benefits for employees, the business, and the local community:
For the employee
- Earlier intervention: Empowering victims of DFV through workplace support is likely to reduce the impact.
- Faster recovery: Earlier intervention, greater connections, the protection of the victim’s work status and job security will lead to faster recovery times.
- Heightened support: Linking victims to support and an ongoing specialist program will empower them with the confidence to leave their DFV situation and commence recovery.
For the business
- Increased performance: By supporting victims of DFV to feel secure at work, leave their DFV situation and move forward with their lives, employers are likely to experience increased productivity, staff satisfaction and retention.
- Improved employee experience and branding opportunities: By implementing a DFV strategy and strengthening existing social well-being policies, businesses are positioned as an employer of choice.
- A more knowledgeable and empathetic workforce: Educates leaders and staff about the warning signs of DFV and how to support victims will lead to a more cohesive and harmonious workplace with an overall increase in morale.
- Developed and delivered by specialists: DFV is extraordinarily complex, and it is important to work with HR professionals and people with lived experience of DFV to get a true insight and relevant, workable approach. In doing so, you become an employer of substance.
For the local community
- Reduces the incidence: By promoting an open workplace where DFV isn’t stigmatised or tolerated, creating awareness and knowledge about this topic, and developing organisational support networks, the incidence is likely to reduce and the impact for victims will reduce.
- Saves lives: By providing earlier, better, and faster support, there will be a reduction in the deaths and injuries caused by DFV.
- Economic: Early intervention will reduce the economic burden caused by DFV.
- Collective approach: We develop a more equitable model for shared ownership of the DFV problem and reduces the reliance on the community organisations or government funding.
- Awareness through education: By utilising employers as a channel to educate the masses, we take a very efficient approach to de-stigmatise DFV across a large and diverse social-demographic landscape.
A Healthy Workplace in the Stand Against DFV
The key elements to address DFV are connection and understanding. A healthy and committed workplace uses these elements as the foundation for their approach to DFV. This may include-
- A culture of empathy and non-judgement that puts the mental and physical health of employees as a priority.
- A zero-tolerance approach to domestic violence or any forms of harassment in the workplace
- A workplace that encourages victims of DFV to come forward so they can be supported.
- A culture where workers feel equipped and comfortable to support colleagues who are impacted by DFV.
- Understanding that everyone who is impacted by DFV may be affected in different ways and may require different forms of support to help them navigate through and beyond DFV.
- Formal or informal channels of open communication between managers and employees, peers and via the leadership team
- A formal process including flexible work practices is in place to support people who are impacted by DFV.
- Managers lead by example to take a stand against DFV.
All FTMA Australia members will be able to not only access the free DFV policy, but we have also created tools to assist including-
- Toolbox meeting presentation and talking points document ready for you to use.
- We are finalising brochures on DFV based on the policy for you to use in the workplace.
- We are finalising posters addressing behaviour related to DFV for use in workplace.
Once an FTMA Member implements the policy, holds a toolbox meeting, and agrees to making available the brochures for employees, we will provide that business with a Supportive Work Haven logo and sticker which the business can be displayed at the front door, used on letterhead or email footer, and definitely used when advertising for vacant positions.
We understand that fabricators are busier than they have ever been before but we can’t ignore important social issues such as DFV and this is why FTMA Australia has developed the DFV policy free of charge along with all the resources you need to adopt this policy.
May is the Domestic Family Violence Prevention month so there is no better time for fabricators to introduce this new DFV policy into the workplace.
Our industry is made up of mum and dad businesses that are the backbone to this country and I truly hope members see the importance of family businesses implementing family friendly policies such as the FTMA DFV Policy.
For further information on the policy please contact me on 0418 226 242.
The Domestic and Family Violence Briefing and Policy is available for FTMA Members only via the Members Resources section of the website.
If you cannot remmeber your login details, please don’t hesitate to contact us.