The Essential Services Commission Victoria (ESC) has recently consulted on their discussion paper for addressing family violence. AGL has been actively engaging with the ESC on their approach to adopting the 2016 Royal Commission into Family Violence recommendations on the energy sector. We have been participating in the workshops facilitated by the ESC and have provided insights and guidance in to our family and domestic violence programs, policies and training for our staff.
We began our journey for addressing family violence as a company at the time of the Royal Commission. As stories started to present during the Royal Commission we realised we had a role to play in protecting our customers who were experiencing family violence. In addition to safety, we also recognised the potential affordability issues that may present for victims so set about developing our Domestic Violence Policy. The policy, which now forms part of our broader Vulnerable Customer (policy), outlines the recognition of economic abuse as a part of family violence and details the measures AGL will take in circumstances of known and unknown family violence situations.
In March this year we also introduced family and domestic violence training for our entire staff, in conjunction with our employee assistance provider. Training seeks to build awareness about the impact of family and domestic violence, teach staff how to recognise signs of someone who may need support, and provide staff the capacity to know how to confidently respond in a caring and inclusive way.
AGL’s family and domestic violence support policy for its employees includes a range of support, such as access to special leave and support plans. AGL has launched internal resources to support and educate its employees. An important part of the training provided to staff includes ensuring that employees are looking after themselves too. Employees are not expected to become experts in supporting victims of family and domestic violence, rather, to understand the resources and expert support available.
We support the principles within the ESC’s discussion paper, recognising their value and importance in facilitating positive outcomes for all Australians impacted by family and domestic violence.
You can read our full submission here.