The British Cleaning Council (BCC) has joined an initiative against domestic violence and is inviting the rest of the cleaning and hygiene sector to review and join.
The BCC has become a member of the Employers Initiative on Domestic Abuse (EIDA), a network of large and small businesses which supports employers to address the issue in the workplace.
The BCC has joined over 950 other employers including household brands such as the BBC, Chelsea FC and John Lewis in signing up to EIDA.
Figures show that one in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetimes.
EIDA memberships gives employers the expertise and help needed to support employees in the right way, at the right time.
EIDA encourages businesses to raise awareness among their employees about the signs of domestic abuse, support those facing domestic abuse and provide access to services to help perpetrators to stop.
It also shares lessons and resources on best practice with members, who can attend an annual conference and quarterly network meetings. Members can also influence policy nationwide, contributing to the national domestic abuse agenda through its policy work on the Domestic Abuse Bill.
Steps which employees can take include developing policies on domestic abuse, raising awareness amongst employees, training senior staff, managers and ambassadors on how to identify those who may need help, and offering direct help or signposting to where it can be found.
BCC Chair Jim Melvin said: “Domestic abuse is unfortunately all too common in today’s society and often the victims are too afraid to seek help or don’t know where to turn.
“In my own day-to-day business, we are also members of EIDA and have found it to be extremely beneficial.
“There are also many cultural differences and employers can play a key role in breaking down the wall of silence that prevents their staff from seeking help.
“Victims may be going to work every day with colleagues who might be able to help if they were asked or if they knew what to look for.
“We want to play our part in raising awareness in our sector about this issue and we fully encourage other organisations in the cleaning and hygiene industry to support EIDA too.”
For more on EIDA, visit www.eida.org.uk