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04/10/2019 - GMB call for help for victims of domestic violence

childcoveringearsThe GMB union says that paid leave and flexible working should be offered to workers who experience emotional and physical domestic abuse. The call came as MPs debated the Domestic Abuse Bill.

The Bill, which has just received its second reading, seeks to give better protection to those fleeing violence by placing a new legal duty on councils to provide secure homes for them and their children.

It would also update the government definition of domestic abuse to specifically extend to economic manipulation.

But general union GMB’s national equality and inclusion officer Nell Andrew said the union has grave concerns that the Bill does not at least include workplace measures for paid leave in instances of domestic abuse.

She said: “Domestic abuse is a workplace issue. If this Bill is to have a meaningful impact it needs to cover all walks of life, especially the workplace, to ensure that survivors are not further penalised by losing their jobs and their livelihoods.”

Pat Harrington, general secretary of Solidarity, supported the GMB call: "Those who suffer domestic abuse need the support of the wider community and that includes their employers. It's about taking social responsibilities seriously. Employers should understand that if you aid people in their time of need you earn a lot of goodwill. They should support the GMB call and even if the measures that union seeks are not incorporated into law employers should write them into their own policies."

At least two million adults in Britain between the ages of 16 and 59 reported experiencing some form of physical or emotional domestic abuse in the year ending March 2018.