Policy just tip of iceberg
30 May 2016
During Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month Brisbane’s leading law firm McCullough Robertson has launched a new policy that provides an extra ten days of paid leave to staff affected by domestic and family violence.
The leave can be used to attend court and medical appointments, for example, alleviating the need for staff affected by domestic and family violence to use up annual leave or take time off without pay.
Chairman of Partners Dominic McGann is a longtime member of the Queensland Male Champions of Change, a growing coalition of men in leadership roles who advocate for gender equality.
Mr McGann said, while it was positive to see domestic violence being tackled at a corporate level, policies or clauses in workplace agreements needed to be part of a broader workplace response.
“Our focus at McCullough Robertson is creating deep cultural change across the entire organisation,” he said.
“Providing meaningful support to employees affected by violence is critical, but it shouldn’t end there. Employees need to know that support is available, feel comfortable accessing that support, and be assured of confidentiality. Providing flexible working options, such as job redesign and changes to working hours or patterns of work, are important, as is providing support from security personnel.”
Mr McGann emphasised that the most critical thing for corporate leaders was bringing the issue out into the open and helping reduce the stigma attached to domestic and family violence.
“We talk about the problem in internal communications and we are about to launch a training program, which will help staff recognise the signs of domestic violence and equip them with the skills needed to initiate challenging conversations with their colleagues,” he said.
“We do the same out in the broader community. We provide pro bono work for North Queensland Women’s Legal Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Legal & Advocacy Service. We get involved in events such as White Ribbon Day and the recent Darkness to Daylight Challenge, where our team ran 110 kilometres from dusk to dawn to help fight against domestic and family violence. I started my leg of the run at 4.30am and was very proud to bring the team home.”
For further information contact:
07 3233 8584
About McCullough Robertson
Established in 1926 as a pastoral practice serving Queensland’s primary producers, McCullough Robertson has grown to a leading Australian independent law firm with industry experts combining legal expertise with deep industry knowledge and foresight. The firm provides innovative, relevant and commercial legal solutions to major corporate, government and high net worth individuals across Australia and internationally.