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Legislation and employment resources


Domestic Abuse Act 2021

Domestic Abuse Act 2021: overarching factsheet 

Domestic violence disclosure scheme: guidance (2012) ‘Clare’s Law’The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme or ‘Clare’s Law’ enables people to ask the police to carry out checks for a record of abusive offences on their partner or the partner of a member of their family or a friend who they believe may be at risk (for Scotland please see the Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland).

Northern Ireland Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and Department of Justice (2016) Stopping domestic and sexual violence and abuse in Northern Ireland 

Parliament (2014) The Care Act (applies to England only). The Care Act replaces most of the previous laws relating to carers and the people they care for. Within The Care Act there is legislation relating to safeguarding adults at risk of abuse or neglect. 

Public Health Scotland. Domestic abuse. Key facts and further information on domestic abuse.

Scottish Parliament (2016) Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) BillThe Bill aims to improve how the justice system in Scotland responds to abusive behaviour including domestic abuse and sexual harm and sets out a number of new offences and provides new directions to courts and juries in cases of abuse (this applies to Scotland only). 

UK Government (2015) Serious Crime Act. Part 5: Domestic abusePart 5 of the Serious Crime Act defines and expands the scope of domestic abuse offences as well as updating the law around female genital mutilation (FGM) (UK wide legislation).

Welsh Government (2015) Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015The Act sets in place measures to reduce gender based violence in Wales and aims to raise awareness of domestic abuse and set our preventative measures so that professionals can recognise the signs of abuse and violence (applies to Wales only).

Guidance and legislation on female genital mutilation (FGM) can be found at the RCN’s FGM resource. Further guidance on safeguarding can is available from the RCN’s safeguarding resource.

Employment resources

Age UK. No age limit: the hidden face of domestic abuse. In this report, Age UK advocates legislation to change what is understood as domestic abuse and make it easier for people to recognise or report it, as well as to improve the resources available to help victims and survivors. This includes training for health care practitioners and better links between the NHS and police.

Business in the Community. Toolkit to support Employers Duty of care in preventing and tackling Domestic Abuse. Employers have an important role to play in society’s response to domestic abuse.  Employers owe a duty of care to employees and have a legal responsibility to provide a safe and effective work environment.  Preventing and tackling domestic abuse is an integral part of this and this toolkit, sponsored by The Insurance Charities offers guidance and support.

Cavell Nurses' Trust (2016) Skint, shaken, yet still caring: but who is caring for our nurses? This report shows the work that the Cavell Nurses' Trust are doing in light of the findings that nurses are nearly twice as likely as the average person to be unable to afford basic necessities and three times more likely to have experienced domestic abuse in the last year.   

NHS Employers: Domestic violence. This page looks at the financial cost of domestic violence to employers.

Public Health England. 16 days of action. Public Health England has developed a new toolkit for businesses. It is a step-by-step guide on how businesses can tackle domestic violence and raise awareness of an issue that impacts health, wellbeing, absence and turnover in the workplace. For some victims the workplace is the only safe place, however up to 75 per cent of domestic violence victims are also targeted at work by their abuser.

RCN. Healthy workplace, healthy you. The Healthy Workplace project supports health care employers and RCN workplace representatives to create good working environments with high quality employment practices. A healthy workplace must promote dignity at work; protect and promote employees’ health and safety; design jobs which provide employees with a degree of autonomy, and provide equitable access to training, learning and development opportunities.

RCN Counselling Service. As an RCN member you can get free, confidential support and assistance to help you to deal with challenging emotional issues you may face, including domestic violence. For RCN employed staff; see section 16 the RCN Supporting attendance policy.

TUC. Domestic Violence: a guide for the workplace. This guide is aimed at union reps and employers who need advice on dealing with the impact of domestic violence in the workplace. It includes facts and figures about the prevalence of this crime, case studies, and advice on drawing up a workplace policy to address the key issues of support, referral, and confidentiality.

TUC. Domestic violence and the workplace
. This survey aimed to find out more about how domestic violence affects working lives and the role that employers, colleagues and union reps can play in supporting those experiencing domestic abuse. The TUC survey was open to anyone who has either experienced domestic violence themselves or has a friend or colleague who has experienced domestic violence.

Page last updated - 19/03/2022