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Legislation and employment resources

Legislation

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).

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. 

Scottish Parliament (2015) 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 (2004) Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims ActThe Act relates to criminal justice for adults and children giving direction for the legal protection and assistance to victims of crime, in particular domestic abuse (UK wide legislation).

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

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.

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.   

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development 2016. Managing and supporting employees experiencing domestic abuse. This guidance has been developed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in Wales, with support from the CIPD. The guidance includes practical tips for employers to recognise when an employee may be affected by domestic abuse. It explains how to respond and offer support, and provides details of organisations to turn to for further information and advice.

NHS Employers webpages:  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.

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.

TUC: eNote - Domestic Violence (Interactive guide for union reps). This eNote aims to raise awareness among union reps of the issue of domestic violence; make them understand the role they need to play in the process and encourage them to put together a suitable workplace policy to deal with such issues. 

UK Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence (CAADV). CAADV work to raise awareness of domestic violence among employers and staff, addressing the effects of domestic violence in the workplace and signposting to organisations that can provide help locally and nationally. They have tools and resources to help you develop your strategy for supporting staff who may be victims of domestic abuse.

Case study: NHS Trusts serve millions of people each year with their healthcare needs. NHS Employers have been members of the Alliance since 2010 and have worked tirelessly on addressing domestic violence and health and wellbeing issues for their work force. One of their lead partners Cathy Marsh experienced domestic abuse first hand and has spearheaded the initiative.