Westpac extends support to employees experiencing domestic and family violence
28 November, 2017
Westpac Group is committed to providing a safe place for employees impacted by domestic and family violence (DFV) and today announced a new financial planning service, as well as a Group wide Pledge to let all employees know that it is safe to speak up and reach out for support.
From today, employees impacted by DFV will have access to free financial planning from a BT Financial Planner to assist with a range of needs such as budgeting, superannuation, investment and insurance.
The announcement was made today at an annual White Ribbon Breakfast co-hosted by Westpac and the Finance Sector Union. This is the sixth consecutive year the event has raised awareness of the critical issue of domestic and family violence, and much needed funds for White Ribbon - Australia’s campaign to end violence against women.
Brad Cooper, Chief Executive of BT Financial Group and Executive Chair of Westpac’s Domestic and Family Violence Employee Action Group, said free financial planning is just another way Westpac can support its employees: “As a financial services organisation, we are in a fortunate position to assist our employees to overcome the impact of financial abuse and secure their financial future.
“During times of vulnerability and uncertainty, financial advice can help to provide clarity, security and peace of mind. Our financial advisers are specifically trained on handling matters relating to DFV and will treat each employee with the highest level of respect and attention to ensure they receive the best possible support.”
Mr Cooper said in addition to this financial planning support, Westpac Group has launched a DFV Pledge: I stand against domestic and family violence and pledge my support to make Westpac a safe place to speak up and seek help.
He said all Westpac Group Executives had taken the pledge, as had many thousand employees, with more taking it each day.
“Our Domestic and Family Violence Pledge provides employees an opportunity to take a stand and let our colleagues know that it is safe to speak up and reach out for support. We believe the Pledge will make a significant difference to the lives of others as just knowing there will be supported is critical to encouraging people to seek help.
“We have also deliberately made the names of employees who have taken the Pledge visible so that if you are an employee who is experiencing DFV you can see that your colleagues have your back.”
Westpac said it has received widespread recognition for its support to employees impacted by DFV. The organisation has a dedicated Family and Domestic Violence Support policy that incorporates a range of measures to support its employees. The policy also extends to employees providing care and support to immediate family members who are experiencing family and domestic violence.
In addition to free financial advice, other services and options for employees include:
- Counselling from specialist clinicians;
- Paid leave;
- Emergency accommodation;
- Financial assistance, including $5000 grants via the Westpac Employee Assistance Foundation; and
- Flexible working arrangements.