FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) major Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has taken a major step towards helping its employees combat domestic abuse. In a first for India Inc, HUI has coded a policy to protect its staff from domestic abuse. This is significant as it extends the responsibility of a company towards employees' well-being beyond the office and into the employee's personal and home life.
HUL has issued this policy at a time when a significant number of its workforce is working from home. The HUL policy aims to protect and provide relief to staff members who are survivors of abuse, or acts of emotional and physical abuse beyond the office.
Anuradha Razdan, HUL executive director (HR), told The Times of India, "We want to stand up as advocates for change that we would like to see in society by proactively coming up with a policy which calls out to our employees: 'If you are someone who has faced this and wants to come out and talk, the organisation is here to support you'."
During the COVID-19 induced lockdowns, cases of domestic violence also rose substantially. The complaints received by the National Commission for Women (NCW) related to domestic abuse against women doubled in the first month of the lockdown. The number of complaints went from 123 between February 17-March 22 to 250 between March 23-April 22.
Standard Chartered has even developed a toolkit that provides examples of the various mechanisms that can be taken into consideration when attempting to support victims of domestic abuse. It also provides a range of available resources for doing so.