Four workplaces supporting victims of domestic violence

Employers should support workers who are victims of domestic violence. Here are four companies who are leading the way.

We look at what some workplaces are doing in response to domestic and family violence, thanks to our partnership with Family Friendly Workplaces. 

Domestic violence has been described as a national crisis by Prime Mininster Anthony Albanese. 

On average, one woman is killed every week by her current or former partner. According to statistics from Our Watch, perpetrators of violence against women are most commonly men, and are more likely to be known by the victim (35 per cent) than a stranger (11 per cent). So far in 2024, at least 27 women have been killed, at a rate higher than the same time in 2023. 

Victims, survivors, families and perpetrators are all around us, including the workplace.

According to a 2020 study from Male Champions of Change, around 34 per cent of perpetrators who responded to the survey have used their work hours/resources to continue an ongoing conflict, emotional abuse or to monitor their (ex-) partner. 

What’s more 21 per cent said a colleague in their workplace knew about their abusive behaviour, and 19 per cent said someone in their workplace “covered” for them while they engaged in this behaviour.

According to Male Champions of Change in 2020, around 25 per cent of survey respondents took paid or unpaid leave due to domestic violence issues.

So it’s clear domestic and family violence policies need to exist in Australian workplaces. As of 2023, Australian workers are able to access ten days of paid domestic violence leave. 

But it must go beyond the paid leave, Male Champions of Change say. Businesses should put in place strategies that lead with prevention, support victim-survivors and foster an inclusive workplace environment. 

So, what are Australian workplaces doing? 

Increasingly, a number of large employers – including across the public sector – are introducing paid domestic and family violence leave, which also follows a union push for such leave. 

And as Emma Walsh, founder of Family Friendly Workplaces says, employers are increasingly incorporating their proactive stance on addressing domestic and family violence into their overall strategies for creating more family-inclusive workplace environments. 

Below are a number of different approaches taken by certified Family Friendly Workplaces. 


In 2019, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CommBank) revised its DFV policies. As part of the CommBank Next Chapter initiative, the Australian bank has a range of services for employees to access help.

Nathan Barker, head of community investment at CommBank, said the policies are a start to a long road ahead for providing adequate support for victim-survivors of abuse.

“As one of Australia’s largest employers, it is our responsibility to support our employees when they need it the most,” Barker said.

“This may include time away from work to navigate the immediate crisis, meeting with counsellors through to meeting legal obligations.”

CommBank has partnered with several community services and collaborated with experts in DFV advocacy to develop the Commbank Next Chapter initiative, including with the not-for-profit Good Shepherd to establish the Financial Independence Hub for people suffering from financial abuse. 


ING recently updated the company’s DFV, extending paid DFV leave to 20 days for staff directly impacted by DFV, and five days for supporting family members of victim-survivors.

The leave policy is in addition to the company’s standard EAP, but also a financial support program, where employees experiencing DFV can access extra payment to help with the process of dealing with violence. The financial support is processed outside of the payroll in the interest of confidentiality and safety for employees.

A spokesperson for ING said the company recognises the important role it plays for driving societal change.

“ING recognises that family and domestic violence occurs in many different forms – from physical violence to coercive control and financial abuse,” the spokesperson said. 

“Providing support to team members and customers isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s how we can play a role in helping to drive societal change.

“Outside of protecting our staff, we are also committed to supporting vulnerable customers. We strongly encourage any ING customer experiencing FDVA to speak with our Specialised Care team by calling them at 1800 801 608 to see how ING can assist or support them.”


AGL has a comprehensive strategy for addressing family and domestic violence that aims to support their employees – through ten days of paid leave – as well as their customers, by addressing technology facilitated abuse, financial abuse and security. AGL have specialised staff who have undergone specific training for helping in responding to domestic and family violence, as well as a wide number of options provided to help customers communicate their situations. 


Drinks company Lion revamped its domestic and family violence abuse policy in 2021 to go further than the paid leave they already offered to offer emergency short term accommodation for individuals and their immediate families in crisis. 

They also provide loaner phones for team members who are concerned their phone may have or could be compromised and have upskilled their “Respect at Lion Champions” with specialised training to become “First Responders” – people available for survivors and those at-risk to approach for support. 

As Sarah Abbott told Women’s Agenda on adjusting the word ‘violence’ to ‘abuse’, “I know it’s a small change but it actually is quite symbolic because it really does recognise that coercive control, that we’re hearing a lot more about now. And it recognises that it doesn’t have to be a violent situation for it to be domestic and family abuse.”

The policy also uses wider language – calling it family and domestic abuse, as opposed to violence – and see that employees are provided with a range of resources to support leaders and individuals in understanding such abuse. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic, family or sexual violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, text 0458 737 732 or visit for online chat and video call services.

If you are concerned about your behaviour or use of violence, you can contact the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491 or visit

Feeling worried or no good? No shame, no judgement, safe place to yarn. Speak to a 13YARN Crisis Supporter, call 13 92 76. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


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