Publicis introduces policies to support workers experiencing domestic abuse

The latest developments build on the DE&I strategy launched by Publicis in May 2021

Publicis Groupe UK has set out new measures to help employees experiencing domestic abuse, alongside a new trans inclusion policy with a range of support for colleagues who are transitioning or have transitioned.

Domestic abuse-related crimes in England and Wales rose by 6% between March 2020 and March 2021 to 845,734 recorded crimes, according to ONS figures, and there was a 22% increase in calls to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline in England during the same period.

Publicis’s domestic abuse support package for workers includes five days of additional leave, temporary or permanent changes to working patterns, redeployment or relocation, access to specialist counselling during work hours, a quiet room and other support.

It will also be underpinned by domestic abuse awareness training, which is available to all employees. The talent team has been trained to help support anyone affected by domestic abuse and to identify the signs that a colleague may be vulnerable. Publicis Groupe UK has joined the Employers’ Initiative in Domestic Abuse (EIDA), which has provided advice on the development of the program.

Updates to trans inclusion policies

Meanwhile, through the trans inclusion policy, Publicis Groupe UK employees will be able to access counselling and a range of medical cover, and employees’ children experiencing gender dysphoria will have access to counselling and treatment.

The company says it is in the process of building gender neutral facilities in every office and providing paid leave for anyone undergoing medical or surgical procedures. It has also partnered with Global Butterflies to run awareness sessions for colleagues, with the policy also offering support to intersex individuals.

“These new programs are the latest step on our journey to create a working environment where everyone can thrive, wherever they come from and whatever they’re going through,” said Annette King, chief executive officer of Publicis Groupe UK.

“We all saw the coverage of the alarming rise in domestic abuse that occurred during the lockdowns of the last two years. Sadly the statistics suggest that we will have colleagues within our organization experiencing domestic abuse in one form or another, and we all know that transphobia is on the rise despite the progress toward LGBTQ+ equality that we’ve made as a society.”

In May 2021, Publicis UK outlined its diversity, equity and inclusion strategy that attempts to build a more consciously inclusive culture that “actively welcomes and values difference, and where diversity and inclusion is a business objective as well as a moral imperative.”

The strategy set out four key focus areas for 2021, all viewed through an intersectional lens: gender, race equity and becoming an actively anti-racist organization, disability inclusion and LGBTQ+ inclusion

King says these latest policies “build on the work we’ve done over the past few years, including the introduction of a menopause policy and family-friendly policies last year.”