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Many FTSE 100 companies recognise domestic violence and abuse as workplace issue and are taking action to support employees, finds new independent research commissioned by UN Women with the support of Vodafone Foundation

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Domestic violence and abuse is increasingly seen as an issue for employers to address: 82% of FTSE 100 companies surveyed offer some kind of support to survivors. 

5th MARCH 2024 – Under the umbrella of its HeForShe initiative, UN Women have conducted the first research into FTSE 100 companies’ support for employees experiencing domestic violence and abuse, supported by Vodafone Foundation. In a report released today, ‘Small Steps, Big Difference’, they explore what FTSE 100 companies are currently doing to support their employees who experience domestic violence and abuse, and what more could be done in the workplace, communities, and society. 

The report shows that domestic violence and abuse is increasingly seen as an issue for employers, and that supporting employees experiencing abuse is an important element of ensuring a safe and supportive work environment. 

FTSE 100 companies wield significant influence globally: the 22 companies who participated in the survey employ over 1.6 million people, 43% of whom are women. These corporates have huge potential to address domestic violence and abuse, especially in countries with limited state support. 

One employee said: “I would never have left my husband if it wasn't for the support of my manager and my company’s domestic violence policy. I lost my home, I lost my husband, my children lost living with their dad. The only thing I didn't lose in all of this was my job! I can provide for me and my children, and I was even able to apply for a mortgage on my own.”

 The report’s findings show that: 

  • 82% of the surveyed companies offer support to employees experiencing domestic violence and abuse. 
  • This includes immediate support to respond to domestic violence and abuse when it happens including referrals to external support organizations; flexible working arrangements and leave (including additional paid leave), as critical options to help survivors escape violence when it happens whilst keeping their job.
  • 53% of companies are also providing preventive support that can help employees before abuse occurs, such as raising awareness of the risk and impact of domestic violence and abuse on employees and promoting the support available.
  • 41% of companies are providing longer-term support to support their employee’s economic independence, including through financial support and temporary protection against dismissal.
  • 23% companies reported providing practical guidance and training for managers and HR professionals to recognize and respond to employees affected by domestic abuse.

Companies that participated in the report included Anglo American, Diageo, HSBC UK, NatWest, Spirax Group and Vodafone. They are sharing good practices and lessons learned to encourage other companies to implement domestic violence and abuse support. 

The willingness of the FTSE 100 companies to take part in this survey, share information, compare, and learn is unprecedented and signals a commitment to collaborate on addressing DVA both individually and collectively. The survey serves as a baseline for measuring progress over time, providing valuable insights and standards for companies addressing DVA.

The report was launched at a UN Women UK event in London on Tuesday 5 March. 

Welcoming this report, Tabitha Morton, Executive Director, UN Women UK, said: 

“Today marks a pivotal step forward in our collective journey towards gender equality. With the launch of the UN Women research into FTSE100 companies' support for domestic violence and abuse survivors, we are not only shedding light on a critical issue but also paving the way for meaningful change. Every action taken by these organisations has the power to transform lives and dismantle the barriers that survivors face. Together, we must harness this momentum to ensure that survivors are not only heard but supported in every facet of society.”

Leanne Wood, Chief Human Resources Officer, Vodafone Group, and Vodafone Foundation Trustee said: 

“Vodafone Foundation is proud to have partnered with UN Women on this research. As a business, we believe domestic abuse is a vital topic for employers to engage with. We launched our global domestic abuse policy in 2019: what is an equality issue is a business issue. This should become a norm in workplaces, and we are keen to work with other FTSE100 companies to implement global standards. At the same time, Vodafone Foundation provides support through the BrightSky app, which enables people affected by domestic abuse to find local support and offers advice for those wanting to help, and by raising awareness of this issue through digital campaigns.” 

Jen Tippin, Chief People & Transformation Officer, NatWest Group, said: 

“Supporting survivors of domestic violence is exceptionally important. With 60,000 colleagues across NatWest Group, we’re keenly aware of our responsibility in fostering a safe environment in which colleagues can speak up without fear, in total confidence and with the full support of the Group. For our customers, we support the SafeLives CircleFund and the Hestia ‘UK Says no More’ campaign as well as helping survivors of domestic, economic, and financial abuse every single day. That’s why I'm proud to be part of the conversation alongside other FTSE 100 organisations, so we can learn from each other and, importantly, explore how we can work together to better support survivors.”

Zahira Quattrocchi, Group Head of Culture & Organisation Effectiveness, Anglo American, said: 

“Being able to contribute to the conversation on how corporate organisations can come together to help tackle destructive behaviours means a great deal to Anglo American.  We are proud of the work we have done so far to tackle DVA by taking a clear stand against these behaviours while providing sector-leading support to survivors within our workforce. We are determined to keep on improving our policies and responses and to keep on widening our reach. We believe that businesses like us have a collective responsibility to respond to societal issues and we hope to learn more about the work of other organisations and share challenges and successes which will encourage more organisations to take similar action. “ 

The report is also being supported by independent experts and charities. Susan Bright, CEO at EIDA, the Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse, said: 

“We welcome this research by UN Women supported by the Vodafone Foundation. It is great to see the practical support provided by FTSE100 companies that are leading the way in responding to those impacted by domestic abuse around the world. For someone experiencing domestic abuse, work may be their only place of safety. All employers should have a domestic abuse policy or guidance, setting out the support they provide and how to access it. This gives confidence to those at risk that they will be believed and supported.

“It also makes good business sense. How can people possibly perform at their best at work when they are experiencing domestic abuse? EIDA supports employers to develop and embed a workplace domestic abuse response and to share best practice. Together we can change – and save – lives.  We hope other employers will be inspired by this report to take action.”

Examples of companies with strong policies on domestic violence include Anglo American, Diageo, HSBC UK, NatWest, Spirax Group and Vodafone:

  • Anglo American has a global policy, covering 15 countries worldwide. This includes safe accommodation for an employee who needs to leave their home in an emergency.
  • HSBC UK provides support for employees in the UK, giving access to financial grants, awarded through Bank Workers Charity. HSBC also runs regular awareness raising webinars to help raise awareness and educate colleagues.
  • Vodafone launched the first known global domestic violence and abuse policy (covering 19 countries worldwide) in 2019. Vodafone Foundation has also used technology to connect over 2.8 million people affected by domestic abuse and hate crime to advice, support, and education. This includes “Bright Sky” a safe, easy to use app and website which provides support and information to spot the signs of abuse, know how to respond and help someone find a safe route to support which is available in over 13 countries. 

The full report is available here: Small steps, big difference, along with an executive summary here: Small steps, big difference - Executive Summary 

About UN Women
UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. For more information, visit 

About HeForShe 
Created by UN Women, HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality that invites men and boys to act for a more equal world. HeForShe provides targeted platform where a global audience can engage and advocate for the achievement of gender equality in our lifetime. The movement invites people around the world to stand together as equal partners to craft a shared vision of a gender-equal world and implement specific, locally relevant solutions. For more information, visit:

About Vodafone Foundation
Vodafone Foundation (UK registered charity number 1193984) believes the power of connectivity can change lives and address some of the world’s most pressing problems. Founded in 1991 with a simple mission to invest in the communities in which Vodafone operates, today the charity connects people and ideas with technology and funding, to help those already doing good work to achieve results faster, more cost effectively and with a bigger social impact. Through a strategy of Connecting for Good, Vodafone Group PLC’s philanthropic arm works in partnership with other charitable organisations and NGOs to create solutions that bring about long-term sustainable change and improve lives.  For further information, please visit 

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