Domestic Abuse – how to recognise it in the workplace


30 June 2021

By Jemma Bennett

The Covid 19 pandemic has resulted in new ways of working, with a significant increase in the numbers of people working from home.  For those experiencing abuse, the workplace often offers a safe space and respite away from the abuser. 

The Insurance Charities have released an up to date Domestic Abuse Toolkit for Employers which helps organisations recognise and support employees who are experiencing domestic abuse (link below).

The toolkit offers guidance on measures to implement to respond appropriately when an employee discloses abuse.  It uses the four R's approach which, are set out below:

  1. Recognise – use the information in the toolkit to help recognise the problem, and to enable managers and employees to understand that domestic abuse is a workplace issue that everyone can play a part in tackling.
  2. Respond – implement policies and processes that enable a supportive workplace which will respond appropriately to disclosure.
  3. Refer – provide access to internal confidential support and signpost appropriately to external organisations who can help employees that disclosure abuse.
  4. Record – if an employee discloses abuse, it is important to record the details of what is said as accurately as possible.  Should the abuse become subject to criminal proceedings, this is an exhibit and should be given to the police.

Employers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe and effective work environment, and they have a duty of care to employees.  Helping to support and protect employees who are experiencing domestic abuse is part of that responsibility and good practice.

If you require any further advice or guidance on the above issue please contact

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.