Major announces unprecedented staff policy

by Mackenzie McCarty12 Jun 2013

NAB has become the first major bank to introduce a domestic violence support policy, under which all 43,000 employees will be entitled to access to domestic violence counselling and additional leave, as required.

Those affected will also be offered flexibility in managing their work schedules and if needed, the location as well.

The move makes the major lender the biggest private sector employer to offer the entitlement.

Lynda Dean, GM for workplace performance, says NAB is leading the way in recognising domestic violence as a workplace issue.

“Domestic violence affects the safety and well-being of a significant number of Australian workers – and it can often have a negative impact on their attendance and performance at work. It is important we take a sensitive and non-judgemental approach and make those affected feel confident and supported in the workplace.”

Dean says the ability to take additional leave and change work schedules is particularly important for NAB’s part-time and casual workforce, who would otherwise be further burdened with forgone income when they needed to take time off.

NAB’s approach will help to ensure that those affected can stay financially independent, which is crucial for surviving and escaping a violent relationship. If we can understand any challenges our people are facing at home and help them through difficult times, they’re ultimately going to deliver a better experience for our customers,” she says.

The policy was developed in consultation with the Financial Services Union (FSU) and Safe at Home, Safe at Work.

Ludo McFerran, project manager for Safe at Home, Safe at Work and campaigner for action against family violence, says it’s great to see a high-profile organisation like NAB focusing on the issue.

“It’s been a privilege to work with them in developing this policy and we can only hope that other organisations, including the other big banks, follow NAB’s example.”