A DOMESTIC abuse policy at Argyll and Bute Council is a step closer after councillors approved a draft policy.

Members of the council’s policy and resources committee considered a report which states the authority’s belief that everybody has the right to live free from domestic abuse.

It also states the council’s commitment to supporting employees’ health and wellbeing at work, and its wish to create a working environment where employees feel safe to disclose their experiences of abuse in order to access support. The committee met via Skype earlier this month – its first meeting in any form since February due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The committee agreed the recommendation to approve the policy to go forward to a meeting of the full council.

A draft of the policy said: “The council believes that everyone has the right to live free from domestic abuse.

“Domestic abuse is unacceptable whether it be within or outwith the workplace.

“The council has developed this policy as part of its commitment to support employees’ health and wellbeing at work and recognises that domestic abuse affects people in all aspects of life, including the workplace.

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“The council has a duty of care for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of its employees at work, and for creating an environment in which employees feel safe to disclose their experience of abuse in order to access support and increase safety for themselves and others.

“However, the right of employees not to disclose must be respected and no employee should feel pressured into sharing this information if they do not wish to do so.”

A covering report by the council’s executive director Kirsty Flanagan said: “Given the escalation in cases during the current Covid-19 pandemic, it is recommended that this policy is implemented as soon as possible, in order to provide support for those currently affected by domestic abuse.”

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