The charter aims to protect employees working in public services from acts of abuse, assault and threatening behaviour. By signing up, organisations are not only showing their commitment to reducing violent incidents at work and supporting their workforce, but actively reassuring employees they have the necessary procedures in place to support staff should violent incidents occur.
The charter was established in 2017 following UNISON research that found almost half of its members in the community sector had experienced an incident of violence or aggression at work in the previous two years. Ensuring private contractors comply with the principles set out in the charter has become an increasing priority for the union.
To sign the charter, organisations must explain and provide evidence for how they meet ten important standards for protecting against violent incidents. These include a clear incident-reporting and investigation procedure, continually collecting and monitoring data on violent incidents, and providing training to ensure staff know how to deal with threatening situations appropriately.
Liberata CEO Charlie Bruin said: “It’s imperative that businesses from all sectors take measures to ensure the safety of their employees, which is why Liberata is pleased to sign up to the End Violence at Work Charter.
“As a services provider to central and local government, we feel it’s vital our clients are reassured that we are meeting the highest standard of employee safety. We hope that by being the first private sector signatory, we set a precedent for other services providers to follow.”
Liberata HR director Jonathan Watts said: “Liberata places the safety and wellbeing of employees at the forefront of business operations and will implement these charter principles throughout the organisation. We are delighted to be supporting this important initiative from UNISON.”
UNISON acting national secretary for business, community and environment Donna Rowe-Merriman said: “No workers should have to face violence while doing their jobs. All too often they face verbal and physical intimidation or actual harm, with little support from managers. It is great to see Liberata come on board and we look forward to more employers signing up to show their commitment to make a real difference to the wellbeing of staff.”