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COVID-19 and Domestic and Family Violence alert

Working from home, self-isolation (and other pressures associated with the COVID -19 pandemic or other events such as natural disasters) can change the safety and support needs of people experiencing DFV.

With the security, socialisation, and routine offered by attending the workplace disrupted, DFV perpetrators have increased opportunities to use coercive or violent behaviours.

Under ‘usual’ circumstances, people in DFV situations experience a high degree of uncertainty in their daily lives.

With the additional stressors of COVID-19, including working from home, schooling of children, economic uncertainty, isolation from social supports and with perpetrators spending more time in the home, DFV situations have become more complex, stressful and insidious.

Actions to bring your workplace up to date with DFV risks

Raise awareness about DFV across the workforce Take workplace safety at home seriously Review and promote DFV policies, and train managers
Keep in touch with employees and maintain up to date contact details Promote DFV entitlements such as leave and flexible work arrangements Encourage employees to seek support and assistance

Remember that the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) requires that both physical and psychological risk factors be considered when assessing risk and conducting a work from home Work Health and Safety assessment.

If an employee discloses DFV or you think there is a risk, refer the employee (if appropriate) or seek assistance from a DFV specialist service to discuss how to respond.