Just some of the people who have been murdered since the start of 2015.
Just some of the people who have been murdered since the start of 2015.

Family violence costing businesses $609m a year

BUSINESSES across our region now have a guide to help them support employees who are experiencing domestic violence.

About 1.4 million Australian women are domestic violence victims and about 800,000 are holding down jobs at the same time.

A report released on Friday shows the epidemic will cost Australian business $609 million a year by 2021.

The report, by KPMG Australia for gender equality business-based organisation Male Champions of Change, says finances often stop women leaving abusive relationships.

MCC chairwoman and former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick said domestic violence was a workplace issue.

"Our workplaces assist in keeping employees safe, providing economic independence that supports women's choices, and playing a leadership role in the community," she said.

"Furthermore, workplaces can also ensure perpetrators are not able to make use of work resources such as email and phone to carry out their abuse.

"Workplaces can play their part in addressing this significant issue."

The MCC comprises 30 Australian management heads from major employers who are working toward having more women in leadership roles.

Playing Our Part: Workplace Responses to Domestic and Family Violence, which offers a range of practical tips and organisation test cases, is available for download from http://www.malechampionsofchange.com.

If you need support contact Queensland's DVConnect Womensline on 1800 811 811 or DVConnect Mensline on 1800 600 636; NSW's Domestic Violence Line on 1800 656 463; or the national support line on 1800 RESPECT. - APN NEWSDESK

 Telstra rings up support for staff

AUSTRALIA'S major telco is ringing up major changes to make life easier for people experiencing domestic violence.

From free telephones to 10 days paid leave a year for employees who are victims, the company recognises the need for businesses to help quell the epidemic that has claimed more than 73 lives across Australia in 2015 and displaced thousands of women and children from their homes.

Telstra is one of 30 businesses signed on to the national gender equality in leadership organisation Male Champions of Change.

MCC on Friday released a practical guide for workplaces wanting to respond to the epidemic that is tearing Australian families apart.

The group's business leader members collectively manage more than 600,000 Aussies.

Telstra alone has 40,000 staff on its payroll.

In 2009, Telstra started supporting the White Ribbon Campaign, a male-led anti-violence against women campaign.

It encourages its staff to wear a white ribbon on White Ribbon Day, November 25; donates to the cause; and has completed the White Ribbon workplace accreditation program to help it find ways to support victims.

Its employees undertake compulsory domestic violence training.

Externally, Telstra provides 10 days of leave each year to employees experiencing domestic violence and encourages its managers to make sure they offer victims flexible work arrangements when crisis hits.

It has also partnered with the Women's Services Network to give 5000 smart phones annually - along with $30 pre-paid recharge cards and technology safety tips - to shelters, safe houses and other support networks across the country.

Telstra provides free silent landline numbers for customers experiencing domestic or family violence.

- APN NEWSDESK



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