Domestic Abuse Bill

Written evidence submitted by Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse (DAB29)

Domestic Abuse Bill

Submission of written evidence to Public Bill Committe e



1. Introduction - Elizabeth Filkin is the Founder and Chair of the Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse (EIDA), a network of employers working collectively to take action on domestic abuse. Launched in January 2018, it has quickly established itself as playing an essential role to enable employers to raise awareness of domestic abuse among all their employees, support those affected, and provide access to services to help perpetrators stop. All employers can join and there is no cost. Four Network Meetings are held each year at the House of Commons and a wide range of information and resources are available on the EIDA website:

2. Impact - EIDA’s impact on domestic abuse has been leveraged through its growing membership base, already over 370 large and small businesses, including some of the biggest employers in the UK.  Membership spans the private, public and third sectors, comprises both UK and global organisations, and represents over 40 industries, including Public Services, Parliamentary, Policy, Research, Religion, Technology, Sports, Financial Services, and Industrial Relations. Members include American Express, Balfour Beatty, Chelsea Football Club, EY, Financial Conduct Authority, Lloyds Banking Group, McVitie’s, Sony, Thames Water and WH Smith.

EIDA has become a well-known and respected organisation for employers. Indeed, Victoria Atkins MP, the Minister for Safeguarding, recently referred to EIDA as the "Helpline for Employers".

Requested amendment


3. The EIDA is asking that the Bill clarifies for employers their duty of care for employees facing domestic abuse.

eg "As part of their duty of care, all employers should provide support for employees facing domestic abuse. To help prevent domestic abuse employers must inform all their employees that they wish to support employees facing domestic abuse and to help them deal with its consequences - eg through signposting to support, special paid leave, flexible working arrangements, providing a safe working environment such as preventing unwanted calls and access to the domestic abuse services and counselling in work time."

June 2020

Annexe 1 - Domestic abuse in the workplace in context


· The cost of domestic abuse across England and Wales was estimated to be £66bn in 2016/17. This included a £14bn cost to the economy in lost output due to time off work and reduced productivity as a consequence of domestic abuse. 1

· Only 5% of businesses have a domestic abuse policy in place – yet all employers will have some staff who have faced, or are facing, domestic abuse, either as victims, witnesses or perpetrators. 2

· 37% of the 4,715 working women and men surveyed in a 9-country study by the Vodafone Foundation had experienced domestic abuse in some form. 3 Of those impacted by domestic abuse, 67% said the abuse affected their career progression, while 51% felt too ashamed to discuss their abuse at work. Crucially, for those who did discuss their abuse at work, 53% said there were positive consequences.

1 Home Office Research Report 107, January 2019

2 Durham University Research Report, November 2017

3 Vodafone Foundation commissioned a study by Opinion, a market research consultancy, 2019

Annexe 2 - Action by employers


· Introduction of paid leave - A number of employers are offering paid leave for employees affected by domestic abuse. Some offer fixed leave for 2 weeks, whereas others offer a flexible approach depending on the individual’s situation. EIDA members offering this include:

1. Bidwells (property & agribusiness consultants)

2. Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales

3. CILEx (Chartered Institute of Legal Executives)

4. EY

5. Hestia (charity)

6. Lloyds Banking Group

7. London Borough of Barking & Dagenham

8. Places for People (property management, development & regeneration)

9. Royal Borough of Greenwich

10. Vodafone Group (policy introduced globally)

· Home working leading to changes in risk assessment policies - As homes have become workplaces due to Covid-19, home risk has become a work risk, with a number of organisations’ risk assessments now including domestic abuse as a risk.

· Lloyds Banking Group Emergency Assistance - Scheme arranging and providing temporary hotel accommodation for employees who need refuge from an abusive partner (Covid & post-Covid)

· National Grid - Support employees with contract changes enabling people to move away from the area and offer financial support in the form of temporary hotel accommodation and hardship loans / gifts.

· Safe Spaces - Scheme developed by UK SAYS NO MORE. Boots, Superdrug, Morrisons and independent pharmacies have all signed up to facilitate their pharmacy consulting rooms as a Safe Space for victims of domestic abuse to access specialist support  services during the current pandemic.


Prepared 11th June 2020