Ministers and stakeholders are calling on businesses to sign up to the Employers Domestic Abuse Covenant (EDAC), which supports women affected by abuse to enter or re-enter the workplace.
2.3 million domestic abuse cases (ages 16 – 74) were reported in 2020, with many of those affected unable to obtain safe and affordable housing, or funds to provide for themselves and their children. These problems were compounded by fear of redundancies, homelessness, unemployment and debt.
The Employers Domestic Abuse Covenant (EDAC) supports women affected by abuse to enter or re-enter the workplace. Launched in December 2020, the Covenant (EDAC), is delivered in partnership with the Department for Works and Pensions and widely supported by the Government.
In 2019, a government report estimated the economic and social costs of domestic abuse for victims to be approximately £66 billion a year.
By signing up to the Covenant, businesses pledge to help identify inclusive recruitment practices and develop employability-based opportunities to support women affected by domestic abuse, including access to work and life based skills, training, courses, mentoring and paid jobs in order to gain economic stability.
Alongside this, businesses will also raise awareness, encourage meaningful dialogue in the workplace, and act as champions to break taboos.
Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales, Nicole Jacobs, says:
“I’m very pleased to lend my support to the Employers Domestic Abuse Covenant. I think we all know how much energy it takes to rebuild your life after experiencing Domestic Abuse and this is precisely the kind of thing we need to be doing to help people get into employment and work-related activities and training, to really rebuild their confidence and opportunities for the future.”
Minister for Employment Mims Davis MP says:
“All forms of domestic abuse and coercive control can very sadly be found in every community, it is often unspoken about and exists even where you think it might not. Every employer, from every sector should take a moment to sign this Covenant and help to tackle this issue and support those affected.
“As we know through our Jobcentres, who are often supporting women who’ve been impacted by domestic abuse to find a new job – or be helped to stay in a place of work they enjoy – our Work Coaches know it can be vital to helping them rebuild their lives. As more employers recognise this, the better women or men impacted by abuse can be assisted in all areas to recover and move forward from abusive relationships or partnerships and progress with their lives and families.”
Business Minister, Paul Scully says:
“I am proud to support the Employers Domestic Abuse Covenant which aims to get survivors into or back into the workplace, as I know that the workplace can be a real port in the storm for survivors.”
“While domestic abuse can affect anyone, we know that women are most at risk. So to mark this International Women’s Day, I call upon all employers to think about what opportunities they can offer, and sign up to the Covenant. Signing up costs nothing, but it sends a powerful signal that you have your employees and prospective employees’ wellbeing at heart.
“Access to workplace opportunities is so important to those who are rebuilding their lives after experiencing domestic abuse, which is why my department continues to work with employers, unions and representatives of those affected by abuse to establish what more can be done to support survivors in the workplace.”
Polly Harrar of the Sharan Project, says:
“We need to act now and take a concerted and coordinated effort with as many voices as possible, to improve the lives and life chances of victims and survivors.”
“We encourage all businesses to be part of this journey to help break the cycle of abuse by creating a cultural and organisational change to develop a sustainable and practical response that will lead to a positive legacy we can all be proud of.”