Corporate/community partnership – the dual benefits of responsive workplaces and policy progress for victims. (企業/社群合夥—回應式職場與受害者相關政策進展帶來的雙重利益)

11/07/2019 - 13:30 to 11/07/2019 - 15:00
Proposal(Workshop / Presentation)
Coordinating organization: 
National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges
Equality and Economic Empowerment
Organization Name: 
National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges (國際集體獨立婦女避難所)
Proposer: Natalie Thorburn
Describe your workshop/presentation (300-500 words): 
Women’s Refuge’s (New Zealand) partnerships with big businesses led to the creation of specialist-informed supportive workplace policies for victims and the subsequent introduction of legislation requiring all large workplaces to become equipped to offer special leave and flexible working provisions to employees who had been subjected to intimate partner violence. We set out the journey towards widespread policy acceptance here. This began with our principal corporate donor, and was accompanied by a corporate awareness-raising programme that we designed and developed, and which resulted in a marked increase in workers’ ability to recognise the dynamics of IPV.

We then used the model for this as the basis for an accreditation programme, which we marketed as having three value components: the attainment of the ‘branding’ signifying the business’s status as an elite employer that is endorsed by New Zealand’s main specialist domestic violence agency; the maximisation of employee productivity; and the benefits to reputation and corresponding public goodwill. The success of voluntary implementation of responsive workplace policies was able to be capitalised on to campaign for similar provisions to be made mandatory by legislative reform – the first in the world to protect victims’ rights through special provisions accessible through their employment.

The benefits of this venture have been threefold. Firstly, the upskilling of businesses to respond has necessarily led to increased visibility of, capacity to respond to, and commitment to ending intimate partner violence. Secondly, the reciprocal relationship with corporate partners, which involves policy development, training, and referral pathways, has led to victims who may not otherwise have thought to access our services being referred. Finally, the growing acceptance and promotion of successful workplace initiatives to respond effectively to victims supported the progression of the Domestic Violence Victims Protection Act through the executive branch of Government, ultimately producing groundbreaking legislative reform that supports victims’ employment security while also facilitating access to support during or after abuse.