Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman is urging Wide Bay businesses to take up the challenge of preventing domestic and family violence in Queensland.
Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman is urging Wide Bay businesses to take up the challenge of preventing domestic and family violence in Queensland. Max Fleet

Minister: Businesses must help prevent domestic violence

WIDE BAY businesses are being urged to take up the challenge of preventing domestic and family violence in Queensland.

Speaking at the Bundaberg Community Cabinet, where she hosted a lunch with business leaders, Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman said workplaces could be a powerful force in ensuring domestic and family violence is exposed and victims supported.

 "Given how much time we spend at work, it makes sense to ensure that people are trained to notice if colleagues might be experiencing violence at home and offer support," Ms Fentiman said.

"95% of women stalked by violent partners experienced harassment at work. Between one quarter and one half of women subjected to domestic violence report losing a job, at least in part due to the violence.

"I am calling on businesses - big or small - to take up the challenge of tackling domestic and family violence.

"I was impressed by the business leaders I met with today, who were keen to discuss ways they could become involved in the effort to eliminate domestic and family violence."

Businesses committed to looking at what they could do in their own workplaces and to raise domestic and family violence with local groups like the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary. 

Member for Bundaberg, Leanne Donaldson, said she was heartened by the number of local businesses who were keen to make a difference in tackling domestic and family violence. 

"And it also makes good business sense. A recent study found dealing with absenteeism in the workplace cost $14.2 million in a year, whereas the cost of replacing staff was $36.6 million."

Businesses can play a role by developing strong policies to support staff experiencing domestic and family violence, such as paid domestic violence leave, or flexible working arrangements for victims, as well as training staff to recognise the signs a colleague may be experiencing violence and creating a culture with respectful attitudes about women.

The Palaszczuk Government and CEO Challenge have developed a training package - Recognise, Respond, Refer: Domestic Violence - to teach workplaces to spot the signs and offer support to colleagues experiencing domestic or family violence.

The e-learning program is being rolled out across the Queensland public service and offered to businesses to purchase, with funds raised supporting domestic violence victims.

Increasing domestic and family violence awareness and support in the workplace was an issue identified in the Not Now, Not Ever report. For further information on Government actions to tackle Domestic and Family Violence: https://www.communities.qld.gov.au/gateway/end-domestic-and-family-violence/home



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