We’ve updated our PACT guidance and added a new toolkit for Employers
PACT stands for Policy, Action, Communication and Training and was born out of the recognition that violence against women (VAW) affects not only the human rights of those experiencing it and their subsequent mental and physical well-being in the workplace, but has implications for employers dealing with the public health fallout.
We know that employers can provide a vital means of intervention and support in times of difficult circumstance – this is particularly relevant in instances of domestic abuse or sexual harassment where an employer’s support can mean the difference between losing and sustaining employment. By undertaking cost effective preventative work, employers can expect numerous benefits including the prevention of unexplained absence, enhanced employee retention, the prevention of disciplinary action, and more effective staff.
Employers need to engage in primary prevention and tackle gender inequality
With estimates suggesting that we spend over a third of our lives at work , the workplace can be a key influencer in shaping our attitudes and day to day experiences, meaning that employers have a role to play in tackling harmful attitudes as well as supporting employees, yet this area of prevention can often be a missed target audience when tackling VAW.
A recent publication from the Scottish Government confirmed that social attitudes towards VAW remain troubling, with only 49% women and 43% men regarding workplace harassment as very seriously wrong , with figures dropping to 30% of those aged 18-29.
Good prevention work with employers, therefore, must ensure that organisations and institutions are well resourced and equipped to deal with violence and have a better understanding of gender inequality to back this up. When women occupy an unequal position in the wider economy, predominate in positions that are insecure (zero hours for example, or low waged) they may become particularly vulnerable in work places where there is a lack of institutional recourse to deal with violence or abuse.
Employers have an excellent opportunity to influence changes in culture, and have a role to play by learning about gender equality and speaking out against misogynistic attitudes where they see them.
Accessing free PACT materials
So if you or your employer are interested in our materials, please visit our PACT page at http://www.zerotolerance.org.uk/what-we-do/projects-campaigns and we’ll send them to you or for more consultation support from our team, contact firstname.lastname@example.org