East African Breweries Plc (EABL) has rolled out a set of guidelines to support employees facing domestic and family abuse to come out it and seek help.
The Domestic and Family Abuse Guidelines are intended to enable employees feel safe and to raise awareness on issues relating to the matter.
Affected workers will also find it easy to reach out for help, respond, and refer cases of abuse either at home or in the workplace.
Under the guidelines, employees can get paid leave of up to 10 days per year to deal with issues arising from domestic and family abuse, such as attending court, seeking legal assistance, relocating house or similar other actions.
KBL Managing Director John Musunga said the company considers the guidelines important because abuse has physical, psychological, and financial effects that have an impact on all aspects of those experiencing it.
“Through these guidelines, EABL is publicly communicating its zero-tolerance approach to domestic and gender abuse throughout our value chain. We want an environment at EABL that promotes safety and is flexible, respectful, and supportive of employees experiencing domestic and family abuse so that they feel comfortable to disclose it and seek help,” said Mr Musunga.
He said the support is part of the company’s efforts to create an inclusive culture, where employees feel valued, can thrive, and which allows them to be at their best both at home and at work.
“We recognize that this is a community and human rights issue, a workplace health and safety issue, a productivity issue and that workplaces can be a place of refuge for employees. We want employees facing domestic and family abuse to feel that they can rely on their workplace to be a safe place to escape violence and a crucial source of social and economic support,” Mr Musunga added.
EABL HR Director Tope Akinsanya said the company has set up a confidential counselling and support service that is accessible round-the-clock for employees facing actual or threatened domestic and family abuse whether in or out of the workplace.
Employees and victims can also report such cases to their supervisors, the HR department, a trusted work colleague, a member of the senior management team, the security team, the legal team, or through Speak Up, an internal Diageo platform.
There has been a significant increase in sexual and gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, with both government and non-governmental organisations reporting that women and girls were particularly vulnerable.
Over and above these guidelines, EABL has put in place additional policies that are not only applicable to its staff but also extended to its partners who include brand promoters, outlet owners, and distributors.
These include the human rights policy, dignity at work policy and brand promoter standards.