New leave policy for staff affected by domestic abuse at consumer giant Unilever
Consumer goods giant Unilever SA is offering special leave to its staff dealing with domestic violence and abuse.
The "haven leave" will allow employees to take up to 10 days a year to seek assistance and deal with matters including legal, residential, medical and psychological issues.
The new policy is part of the company's attempt to respond to widespread gender-based violence in South Africa.
Genevieve Fynn, a senior brand manager at Unilever SA, says employees will be guaranteed confidentiality when they redeem the special leave.
The "haven leave" will be paid leave and is available to men and women in the company.
Fynn explains that the company became more aware of the complex challenges facing women in abusive relationships after it had partnered with civil group Powa (People Opposing Women Abuse).
We realised that a really big barrier for us is that women are in these domestically violent relationships but they aren't able to get out.Genevieve Fynn, Senior brand manager - Unilever SA
There are so many other complexities that are involved with [domestic violence] like children and places to stay.Genevieve Fynn, Senior brand manager - Unilever SA
If they are a full-time career woman, it's really difficult to have the time to do that.Genevieve Fynn, Senior brand manager - Unilever SA
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