Better Health at Work Award, coordinated by the Northern TUC, has announced a partnership with Kim McGuinness, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner (NPCC), to offer virtual Domestic Abuse Workplace Champions (DAWC) training which aims to support staff with their physical and mental well-being during lockdown.
During the pandemic, the union revealed that many frontline and specialist domestic abuse services experienced a rise in demand.
As of 19 February 2021, the scheme, which raises awareness of domestic abuse and guides people towards specialist services, has switched to digital delivery. So far, 140 people have signed up, with the course now fully subscribed until the end of May, with further dates to be scheduled.
Previously the scheme has engaged with more than 300 businesses from throughout the North East, and trained up more than 1500 champions.
McGuinness said: “Employers have a duty and responsibility to provide staff with a safe working environment and we know that for some staff the workplace can be the only safe haven from domestic abuse and violence.
“This training is about increasing awareness and creating an even wider support mechanism and potential safety net – it is fantastic to see so many proactive employers taking the opportunity to put that net in place for their employees.”
Beth Farhat, regional secretary, Northern TUC, added: “Workplace health and wellbeing has never been more important and despite the immense challenges of the last year we have seen a wealth of fantastic and proactive practise through our Better Health at Work Award employers.
“Their overwhelming response to, and participation in, this training is fantastic and indicative of the importance they place on safeguarding their workers’ health, safety and wellbeing. I firmly hope that the training and overarching DA scheme will make a positive impact in organisations, for individuals and ultimately, on the number of victims – if it helps one person, then it has made all the difference.”