“We want to play our part in getting our people the help they need, as the workplace is often a safe place from violence at home,” said Joanne Fair, Fonterra’s MD of people and culture.
The dairy giant confirmed the new initiative late last week and said it would focus on increasing awareness while also providing services to its workforce of around 12,000 people.
“If we can make a difference in the lives of victims, supporters of victims and users of family violence who want to change, then we’ll also make a difference for their families and the communities they live in,” said Auckland-based Fair.
Developed and operated in partnership with Shine and Women’s Refuge, the program enables team members affected by family violence to take 10 days of additional paid leave every year for health appointments, legal proceedings and other activities related to violence.
“With Fonterra’s size and reach, our DVFREE program for business has the potential to directly help thousands of Kiwis – and their children – to have safer and better lives,” said Holly Carrington, a spokesperson for Shine.
“For instance, if someone working for Fonterra is being abused by their partner, they will now know there is someone at work they can talk to in confidence about their situation, and that they will be supported to get through a difficult time and stay safe at work.”
Should you implement a family violence program?
Fonterra has become the latest Kiwi employer to address family violence, launching a company-wide program to support those who are impacted by the pervasive problem.