Qld business vulnerable to DV impacts

·2-min read

A report on the impact domestic and family violence has on workplaces shows Queensland businesses may be vulnerable if they don't understand or adhere to their obligations.

The Domestic and Family Violence as a Workplace Issue report was compiled by the Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Released on Monday, it shows two thirds of Queensland businesses could be vulnerable to DFV through poor understanding of the law.

Domestic and family violence cost businesses on average more than $6000 annually, or almost $3.4 billion during the 2019/20 financial year for the Queensland economy.

This was due to an increased risk of workplace violence, increased illness and absenteeism, possible legal liabilities, increased staff turnover and reduced productivity.

CCIQ policy advisor Luisa Baucia said family violence impacts were worse for smaller businesses, female-dominated industries and firms located in rural or remote areas.

Businesses were also vulnerable if they didn't have policy in place for employees experiencing domestic and family violence.

"Domestic and family violence issues can spill over into people's social and working lives and create workplace health and safety risks," Ms Baucia said.

"Workers at all levels, from CEOs to administration assistants are experiencing domestic and family violence and may need business led support or referral to find safety.

"Often workplaces are safe havens and the only place someone experiencing domestic and family violence is able to find reprieve."

Retail, accommodation and hospitality sectors reported high numbers of employees experiencing DFV, while a high number of construction and manufacturing industries reported having a very poor understanding of employer obligations.

The report aims to understand what DFV means for staff and how it can be addressed in the workplace.

A masterclass will be held in Brisbane on September 13 to help address domestic and family violence in the workplace and guide businesses and on their obligations as employers.

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