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Close the Gap launches innovative new resource for businesses on domestic abuse

Close the Gap is delighted to launch a new resource for businesses on domestic abuse as part of Think Business, Think Equality, the online self-assessment tool designed specifically for SMEs.

The free online tool enables employers to self-assess their employment practice and provides tailored advice and an action plan which sets out the simple steps you can take so that your business can realise the benefits of gender equality and diversity. The new resource on domestic abuse also includes a range of free resources for download including:

  • Guidance on domestic abuse and employment
  • FAQ on domestic abuse and work
  • Good practice examples
  • Workplace resources
  • Useful links including signposting to specialist support organisations

Think Business, Think Equality already includes six resources on key aspects of employment practice including flexible working, workplace culture, pay and reward, progression and promotion, pregnancy and maternity and job segregation.

The new test, which takes no longer than five minutes to complete, has been developed to enable businesses to effectively support employees experiencing domestic abuse. Domestic abuse not only affects the victim-survivor but can also impact colleagues, and ultimately the smooth running of a business through increased absenteeism, reduced productivity and higher turnover. Domestic abuse is estimated to cost the UK economy £66 billion a year, which includes the cost to businesses in lower productivity, administrative difficulties from unplanned time off, lost wages and sick pay.

1 in 4 women experience domestic abuse in their lifetime in Scotland, so it makes good business sense to think about domestic abuse. As an employer, there are a range of simple, practical steps that you can take to ensure you effectively support your people, and protect your business.

The majority of women affected by domestic abuse are targeted at work. Perpetrators of domestic abuse often use workplace resources such as phones and email to threaten, harass or abuse their current or former partner. Perpetrator tactics such as sabotage, stalking and harassment at work, affect women’s ability to do their job, and to sustain employment.

Businesses that take steps to supports employees will benefit in a range of ways. Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of key people at work means that you're more likely to retain the skills and experience of female talent. By recognising the potential impact of domestic abuse on employees and their colleagues, you're minimising the risk to your business.

Delivering workplace equality makes good business sense. Having fair and flexible working practices allows you to attract and retain the best talent, reduce recruitment and training costs, and it makes your business more productive, more innovative, and more profitable. Evidence shows that gender equality at work is not just good for women, but is also a critical driver for improved business performance, and a worldwide catalyst for economic growth. Crucially closing the gender gap in employment is worth up to £17 billion to the Scottish economy.

Find out how your business can benefit from gender equality and diversity. Take the Think Business, Think Equality test on domestic abuse at www.thinkbusinessthinkequality.org.uk.

Want to know more about business benefits of gender equality? Watch one of our 30 second films.

If you’re on the move, you can download the Think Business, Think Equality app for iOS, Android or Windows.

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