New Zealand has the highest rate of intimate partner violence in the developed world, with around one in three Kiwi women abused within their lifetime. The resulting loss of productivity costs New Zealand employers $368 million each year. Liquor retailer The Trusts is showing a commitment to addressing the problem by gaining Shine’s DVFREE Tick.
West Auckland liquor licensing trusts Waitakere and Portage have the exclusive right to operate hotels, taverns and off-licenses in West Auckland. They manage many operational activities through a shared service model known as The Trusts.
The Trusts owns 30 West Liquor and specialty Village Wine & Spirits stores across West Auckland, plus a number of hospitality venues. It employs around 320 staff.
The Trusts is the first retailer and hospitality organisation to achieve the DVFREE Tick certification from domestic abuse charity Shine. The certification independently confirms that the recipient has put infrastructure in place to support staff affected by domestic violence.
Chief executive Simon Wickham says store and venue managers have completed training to ensure they know how to assist any staff members or colleagues experiencing domestic violence. Frontline team members will also receive training to let them know what support is available.
Among the measures it may take to address domestic violence is the serving of trespass notices against anyone who has used violence towards a staff member, Wickham says.
He says staff who have been victims of abuse can expect flexible working arrangements and 10 annual domestic violence leave days in accordance with the Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Act, which came into force on 1 April this year. They will also receive support from trained ‘responders’.
“The formalisation of policies around domestic violence has sent a clear message to our staff that we are putting the infrastructure and training in place to ensure they are protected and supported within the workplace,” Wickham says.
“Our trained first responders will listen to our staff members safety concerns, work with them to create their own personal safety plans, assist with access to helplines and services and support them during their working hours.”
“While we are known for our financial contributions to organisations in the community – including those who support people impacted by domestic violence, we also want our staff to know that if they are impacted by domestic violence in any way we will be there for them,” he says.