The initiative is called ‘Family violence – it’s not OK’ and will apply to all of The Warehouse Group’s companies, including The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming, Torpedo 7 and its online stores.
The Warehouse Group hopes this will encourage victims to take steps to protect themselves and their families, as well as provide financial stability.
There is also unpaid leave available for workers who want to support someone who is a victim of family violence.
Group general manager of community and the environment Paul Walsh says when the retailer worked with Women’s Refuge and other community groups, the work brought home the extent of the problem in New Zealand.
As well as the social and emotional effects of abuse, a 2014 economic impact report estimated the cost of dealing with child abuse and domestic violence at $7 billion annually.
The report also found that $1 billion is lost each year in workplace productivity due to abuse.
The Women’s Refuge says The Warehouse Group is the largest Kiwi employer to develop policy around domestic and family violence so far.
“To our knowledge there are only smaller operators and non-government agencies who have developed any kind of policy around domestic violence,” Women’s Refuge chief executive Dr Ang Jury says.
“This initiative from The Warehouse Group will not only enhance their reputation as a great employer but, critically, it also shows national leadership in acknowledging that domestic violence is a significant issue in New Zealand.”
She says she hopes the move will inspire other companies to play their part in addressing the issue.
The Warehouse Group also rolled out two new initiatives related to family.
The Supporting Partners benefit gives five days paid leave to a partner (presumably the dads) within the first month of a new baby arriving.
The Return to Work benefit allows parents returning to work to take on 80 percent of their usual hours and get full pay. This runs for the first four weeks back after parental leave.
Chief people officer Anna Campbell says The Warehouse Group will continue to change and improve its employment policies to make retail an attractive career choice and keep on talented staff.