Updating our Domestic & Family Violence paid leave and support policy for co-workers
With domestic and family violence usually manifesting at home, IKEA believes we have a responsibility to help address this critical national issue - starting with our 4000 co-workers. Mirja Viinanen, Retail Manager, IKEA Australia, announced the policy changes to co-workers in this letter.
Hej dear colleagues,
More than ever before, the home has become the centre of our lives. Many of us are lucky to have a home we can call our own, where we can feel safe and secure. But for many people around the world, this isn't the case.
Australia is no exception. Australians are impacted by domestic and family violence every day, and it is estimated that one in six Australian women experience some form of physical or sexual intimate partner violence from 15 years of age, and one in four Australian women experience some form of emotional abuse. The increased amount of time spent at home and added pressures of the pandemic has seen the severity and frequency of intimate partner violence increase. In fact, many women have experienced violence from their partner for the very first-time during periods of lockdown.
At IKEA, our focus has always been to create a better everyday life for the many. We believe firmly that everyone has the right to a safer life at home, and this means more than four walls in a house. It’s about identity, security and respect. We want to help create that safer life at home for all Australians.
We are going to start with how we support our own people across the country. With this issue impacting so many people across Australia, we know it is likely there will be co-workers who know someone who is experiencing domestic or family violence, or will be impacted themselves.
It’s in this spirit that today we are proud to share details about our updated Domestic & Family Violence policy, which is effective now.
Working with leading family violence expert Associate Professor Kate Fitz-Gibbon, we have made changes to ensure we can better support all co-workers and their families, and in particular those who are affected by domestic and family violence.
The updated approach outlined in our Domestic & Family Violence policy includes support in the form of:
Access to 15 days paid leave per year for co-workers experiencing domestic and family violence
Co-workers supporting family members experiencing domestic and family violence can also access 2 days leave
Co-workers experiencing domestic and family violence can be supported with the development of a tailored support plan to help ensure their safety and so they can continue to be employed as part of the IKEA family. Elements of the support plan will be adapted to the specific situation but may include temporary or permanent changes to their role, work location or working hours to avoid a perpetrator, among other things.
With domestic and family violence usually manifesting at home, we believe IKEA has a responsibility to help address this critical issue. That includes educating ourselves on how we can recognise domestic and family violence. For this reason, we are also providing all co-workers with access to information on domestic and family violence and the support available.
As we embark on this journey to create a safer life at home, we encourage everyone to join and support the people around us who may be experiencing domestic and family violence at home. Together, we can be part of a positive change in society.
Mirja Viinanen IKEA Australia Country Retail Manager and Chief Sustainability Officer