The Calico Group, based in Burnley, has become one of the first companies in the UK to introduce ‘Safe Leave’ for all staff across its companies.
From April 2019, all employees now have an additional term in their employment contracts which allows up to ten days paid leave when support is needed in situations involving domestic abuse.
The leave will allow survivors to attend court hearings and find new accommodation.
The Calico Group is in the process of achieving the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) accreditation, the benchmark for how housing providers should respond to domestic abuse in the UK.
The DAHA accreditation is part of the Government’s “Ending Violence against Women and Girls Strategy: 2016 to 2020”, and is the first step in delivering a consistent set of standards across housing providers in the UK.
Anthony Duerden, chief executive of The Calico Group, said: “We are committed to the prevention of domestic abuse and recognise that it can have a devastating and long-term impact.
“The introduction of Safe Leave has been welcomed by staff and we have already seen increased awareness and more conversations happening around domestic abuse.
“We believe it is vital as a caring employer that we provide support when it is most needed and we hope that other companies will follow our example.”
Helen Gauder, managing director of SafeNet Domestic Abuse Services – part of The Calico Group – said: “The introduction of Safe Leave for The Calico Group staff is important as it offers both practical and emotional support to staff at risk of domestic abuse.
“Staff feel reassured that they do not have to deal with domestic abuse alone, that they will not be judged and that they will be supported.”
The Calico Group is committed to supporting all its staff and customers who are experiencing domestic violence, and staff received training from SafeNet Domestic Abuse Services to help them spot the warning signs in clients and workmates.
The Calico Group also provides support through SafeNet Domestic Abuse Services, a fully inclusive and accessible service that protects victims and survivors of domestic abuse through the provision of safe refuge and support services.
For more information, call SafeNet Domestic Abuse Services on 0300 3033 581, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit safenet.org.uk