Agenda item

Workplace Domestic Abuse Policy Update


This report presents an updated workplace domestic abuse policy.




Members considered a report which advised that the Council’s workplace Domestic Abuse Policy had been in place since 2009 and had been updated regularly. The Policy had recently been updated and as the proposed revisions were fairly substantial, these had been consulted upon. The consultation period had ended on 25 November 2020 and the results of this were set out in a supplementary agenda. With regard to the latter, Members were advised that the reference to October 2019 on page 27 of the pack should read October 2020.


The following points were raised:


·       Data in report– it was suggested that the references to figures and percentages in the policy should include their source and when they dated from.


·       Scope of policy – whether the policy also applied to Council owned companies and Medway Norse was queried. Members were advised that the Council may be able to use its influence with Council owned companies and Medway Norse to persuade them to adopt the policy.


·       Warning signs of domestic abuse – noting that a reluctance to finish work or starting work earlier was one the possible warning signs listed in the policy, the point was made that working from home was now much more common and working in a council building could be a safe haven. The point was also made that it was more difficult for managers and colleagues to pick up on warning signs where an employee was working from home. In addition, the abuser could be within earshot of a victim when conversations were taking place without this being known. In response to a question, Members were advised that the training for Managers dealt with these issues.


·       Children and vulnerable adults at risk of abuse – it was suggested that the telephone numbers of other councils be included to assist employees who lived outside Medway if they needed to contact their council for advice. Members were advised that managers and employees had access to the Kent Domestic Abuse website which was referenced in the policy and allowed people to access support based on where they lived in Kent.


·       Employer’s safety plan checklist – whether credit and debit cards and a mobile phone should be added to the list of things mentioned in the policy for people to consider taking when leaving home was raised. Officers agreed to look at this but the point was made that mobile phones could also be used to track a person. The police would loan a mobile phone to someone they were supporting for their use if they had to leave their home.


·       Communication of policy – officers agreed to investigate further a suggestion that the support available to staff under the policy be made known to their spouses and other family members.




The Committee approved the revised Workplace Domestic Abuse Policy, as set out in Appendix 1, including the proposed amendments to the policy following the consultation, as set out in the Supplementary Agenda.


(In accordance with Council Rule 12.6, Councillors Khan, Mahil and Prenter asked that their votes in favour be recorded.)



Supporting documents: