BLAENAU Gwent MP Nick Smith has given his backing to a new GMB Union initiative to support workers who are experiencing domestic abuse at home.

The GMB is calling on employers to make the workplace a safe and supportive space and to stand up for staff who are victims of domestic abuse.

Attending the launch of the initiative at the Houses of Parliament on Monday (November 26), Nick Smith MP heard employment horror stories from GMB members who have suffered domestic abuse.

Examples included a woman who lost her job after her manager found out she had been suffering abuse, saying that the company could not support her due to her declining performance.

Another woman was refused a request to take time off to deal with the aftermath of the arrest of her abusive husband. She was told that her “personal life” should not interfere with her work.

The GMB is calling on employers to commit to five pledges* to help any staff members who may be experiencing domestic violence.

Mr Smith said: “The case studies we heard about really bring home the devastating effect an employer can have on someone who is already suffering in their personal life.

“No one should lose their job because they are experiencing violence at home.

“An employer taking steps as simple as putting up posters in the office or training senior staff to recognise the signs of abuse would go a long way.

“Having a workplace policy on domestic abuse is something that can save lives.”

* The five pledges:

  • Support employees who are experiencing domestic abuse to access support services and information confidentially.

  • Ensure that those experiencing domestic abuse will not be disadvantaged within the terms and conditions of their employment and will take all reasonable measures to facilitate any needs in the workplace.

  • Commit to working/participating with other organisations to facilitate best support for those experiencing domestic abuse.

  • Provide all employees with access to toolkits, information and policies on domestic abuse in a format that is easily and discretely accessible within the workplace

  • Ensure that employees within organisations are trained to provide adequate access to support within the workplace for all employees.Staff trained should be representative of the workplace and will include line managers and Trade Union representatives.

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