26 / 3 / 2014 3.19pm
The costs to employers of domestic violence can be huge, though this is often unrecognised by boards, staff and HR professionals.
The results of domestic abuse often masquerade as accidents and are recorded as absence due to trips and falls at home.
Frequently injuries may not even cause time off sick because physical signs are hidden, however the effects of the may abuse still impact on the victim's role in the organisation.
In England and Wales:
- 56 per cent of abused people arrive late for work at least five times a month.
- 28 per cent leave early at least five days a month.
- 53 per cent miss at least three days of work a month
- Productivity and concentration falls substantially
- Once a person leaves an abusive partner they are especially vulnerable at work, as it may be the only place they can be located or harmed
- 75 per cent of domestic abuse victims are targeted at work from harassing phone calls and abusive partners arriving at the office unannounced to physical assaults.
The financial cost
Using crime figures, it is estimated that domestic abuse costs the state and employers around £1.3 billion each a year. The cost of the human and emotional suffering is estimated to be around £17 billion. The total cost is estimated at £23 billion a year.
The cost to the NHS
The cost to the NHS of repairing the physical damage to victims of domestic violence is estimated at £1.22 billion. The cost of mental health services related to domestic violence is estimated at £176 million.
For individual organisations it makes sound business sense to take steps to reduce the human and the financial cost of domestic abuse.
This can be done by creating and implementing a trust domestic abuse policy.