The British Cleaning Council has joined the Employers Initiative on Domestic Abuse (EIDA) which helps businesses identify and support victims of domestic violence and psychological abuse, and is calling on companies in the cleaning sector to support the initiative.
Figures show one-in-four women, and one-in-six men in the United Kingdom, will experience domestic abuse in their lifetimes.
EIDA memberships gives employers the expertise and help needed to support employees in the right way, at the right time – encouraging businesses to raise awareness among their employees about the signs of domestic abuse, support those facing domestic abuse and provide access to services to help perpetrators to stop.
The organisation also shares lessons and resources on best practice with members, who can attend an annual conference and quarterly network meetings. Members can also influence policy nationwide, contributing to the national domestic abuse agenda through its policy work on the Domestic Abuse Bill.
Steps employers can take include developing policies on domestic abuse, raising awareness amongst employees, training senior staff, managers and ambassadors on how to identify those who may need help and offering direct help or signposting to where it can be found.
EIDA currently has a membership of over 950 organisations, including the BBC, Chelsea FC and John Lewis.
BCC Chair Jim Melvin, says: “Domestic abuse is unfortunately all too common in today’s society and often the victims are too afraid to seek help or don’t know where to turn.
“In my own day to day business, we are also members of EIDA and have found it to be extremely beneficial.
“There are also many cultural differences and employers can play a key role in breaking down the wall of silence that prevents their staff from seeking help.
“Victims may be going to work every day with colleagues who might be able to help if they were asked or if they knew what to look for.
“We want to play our part in raising awareness in our sector about this issue and we fully encourage other organisations in the cleaning and hygiene industry to support EIDA too.”
For more on EIDA, visit www.eida.org.uk.