Council becomes the first in London to support GMB Union's domestic abuse charter
PUBLISHED: 14:57 19 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:17 19 June 2019
Barking and Dagenham Council will provide specialist help for workers who are victims of domestic violence after becoming the first London borough to support a special agreement.
Under the GMB Union's domestic abuse charter, the local authority will also ensure any affected employees are not disadvantaged at work because of their experiences with domestic violence.
The decision to support the charter was decided last night at the council's cabinet meeting and is the latest in a number of steps taken to tackle domestic violence. The council has funded free legal advice to residents experiencing domestic abuse and earlier this year started offering up to 10 days paid leave to employees facing domestic violence or displaying abusive behaviours.
The leave is to encourage them to seek support and perpetrators can find help to change.
Councillor Maureen Worby, cabinet member for social care and health integration, said: "This is an issue that is wider than just Barking and Dagenham but we are pleased to be able to sign-up to the GMB charter and be one of the leading authorities when it comes to showing a commitment to tackling domestic abuse."
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The council is working with national charity Hestia to provide specialist support and training in the workplace.
According to the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime for the year to March 2018 Barking and Dagenham has one of the highest rates of domestic abuse in London.
There are 12.6 offences per 1,000 of the population and with just under 40per cent of the council's workforce also live in the borough the town hall is starting with its own staff.
Cllr Worby added: "Tackling domestic violence remains one of our top priorities for Barking and Dagenham and we are determined to do all we can to provide support for the people who need it most."
Nell Andrew, GMB national equality and inclusion officer, said: "By signing GMB's Work to Stop Domestic Abuse charter, Barking and Dagenham Council are committing to make the workplace a safe environment for those experiencing domestic abuse and ensuring vital support is available whenever it is needed."