Domestic Abuse policy - Staff and Members
Perpetrators of Domestic Abuse
Domestic abuse perpetrated by employees will not be condoned under any circumstances nor will it be treated as a purely private matter. The Council recognises that it has a role in encouraging and supporting employees to address violent and abusive behaviour of all kinds. Employees should report if they suspect a colleague is a perpetrator of abuse.
If an employee approaches the Council about their abusive behaviour, the Council will provide information about the services and support available to them.
The Council will treat any allegation, disclosure or conviction of a domestic abuse related offence on a case-by-case basis with the aim of reducing risk and supporting change.
The Council views the use of violence and abusive behaviour by an employee, wherever this occurs, as a breach of the Council's Code of Conduct for disciplinary purposes.
The Council's Code of Conduct is intended to inform all staff, irrespective of grade, of the standards of conduct expected of them. It identifies a set of principles governing behaviour by which staff members are expected to abide. Staff members are expected at all times to present high standards of personal integrity and conduct that will not reflect adversely on the Council and its reputation.
In some circumstances it may be deemed inappropriate for the individual to continue in his/her current role(s), due to a caution or conviction. The Council views the use of violence and abusive behaviour by an employee, wherever this occurs, as a breach of the organisation's Code of Conduct for disciplinary purposes.
These procedures can be applicable in cases where an employee has:
- behaved in a way that has harmed or threatened his/her partner
- possibly committed a criminal offence against his/her partner.
- had an allegation of domestic abuse made against him/her
- presented concerns about their behaviour within an intimate relationship
The Council is committed to ensuring that:
- allegations will be dealt with fairly and in a way that provides support for the person who is the subject of the allegation or disclosure
- all employees will receive guidance and support
- confidentiality will be maintained and information restricted only to those who have a need-to-know.
- investigations will be thorough and independent
- all cases will be dealt with quickly avoiding unnecessary delays
- all efforts will be made to resolve the matter within 4-6 weeks, although some cases will take longer because of their nature or complexity
NOTE: This procedure is intended to be safety focussed and supportive rather than punitive.
The alleged perpetrator will be:
- treated fairly and honestly
- helped to understand the concerns expressed and processes involved
- kept informed of the progress and outcome of any investigation and the implications for any disciplinary process
- advised to contact their union or professional organisation
There are five potential strands in the consideration of an allegation:
- a police investigation of a possible criminal offence
- disciplinary action by the employer
- providing specialist, safety-focused counselling
- identifying risk.
- referral to Local Authority regarding risk to general public/vulnerable people.
Any employee who is responsible for giving advice, or who comes into contact with or supports those vulnerable people or children experiencing domestic abuse needs to be particularly aware of the potential consequences if they are found to be perpetrators.
If a colleague is found to be assisting an abuser in perpetrating the abuse, for example, by giving them access to facilities such as telephones, email or fax machines then they will be seen as having committed a disciplinary offence.
If it becomes evident that an employee has made a malicious allegation that another employee is perpetrating abuse then this will be treated as a serious disciplinary offence and action will be taken.