The following is a post by one of our guest writers, Nancy Salamone, founder and CEO of The Business of Me
Domestic Violence Goes To Work
When a victim of domestic violence is employed – domestic violence goes to work and every employer pays the price. Yet at least 70% of employers do not have policies or procedures in place to address this serious workplace violence issue.
Many employers believe that domestic violence is a private family matter – it is not. Domestic violence affects the safety and security all employees. Employers who do not take this workplace violence issue seriously put the lives of all employees at risk and expose the company to major liability claims.
If you set aside the altruistic reasons to help employees who are victims of domestic violence here are some of the actual ways it affects your bottom line.
The cost of domestic violence in the U.S. is estimated to be $8.3 billion each year (based on a study done in 2004 and to my knowledge has never been updated) most of which is borne by U.S. employers. That $8.3 billion today is still widely reported as the entire cost of domestic violence in our society. But how is that possible when the cost to businesses in the U.K. in lost productivity alone is £12 billion (in U.S. dollars $19,604,243) a year? Let’s look at some facts:
- The reported number of people employed in the U.K. during 2012 is approximately 29.73 million
- The reported number of people employed in the U.S. for 2013 is approximately 136,877,000
- The total population of the U.K. in 2012 is 63.7 million
- The total population of the U.S. in 2013 is approximately 315,000,000
The U.S. working population is approximately 5 times that of the U.K. so it does not make sense that the cost of domestic violence in the U.S. is so much less than the U.K. The £12 billion reflects only lost productivity while the $8.3 billion includes medical care, mental health services AND lost productivity.
Increased Medical Cost
The health care costs of domestic violence, most of which is borne by the employer, are extremely high, with direct medical and mental health care services for victims over $4 billion dollars annually.