KAMPALA – Domestic and Family Abuse represents a significant social issue globally, and the devastating impact it has on the personal and professional lives of those who experience it.
As such, Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) has unveiled a Domestic Violence/Family abuse policy that seeks to promote a working environment that is safe, respectful and supportive of employees experiencing Domestic & Family Abuse.
With this policy, provisions have been made for employees experiencing Domestic & Family Abuse to feel safe and comfortable enough to disclose abuse and seek help.
“We believe that Domestic Violence & Family Abuse is a violation of fundamental human rights, irrespective of where it occurs, and is unacceptable at home and in the workplace, and this latest effort is part of our ongoing commitment to creating an inclusive culture, where employees feel valued and can thrive to their best, both at home and at work.”
While speaking at the launch of the policy, UBL Managing Director Mr. Andrew Kilonzo said that although Domestic Violence and Family Abuse largely occur within the confines of homes, its impacts are not contained in the home, and can often spill over into work.
“Because Domestic and Family Abuse has many causes and contributing factors, its solutions are equally complex. However, we recognize that we have a role to play in advocating for the end of Domestic Violence and Family Abuse and providing the appropriate support services for victims,” he said.
“This policy is particularly relevant for employees who are directly experiencing domestic & family abuse, have a work colleague, or are managing a team member, who discloses to them their experiences of domestic & family abuse, are supporting a family member, or a member of the employee’s household who is experiencing domestic & family abuse and is seeking more information about domestic & family abuse and the support of Diageo.”
Through raising awareness, their parent company, Diageo – is publicly communicating its zero-tolerance approach to Domestic and Family Abuse, however, employees have a right to choose whether to disclose information about being subjected to or impacted by Domestic & Family Abuse.
Ms Lilian Adriko – the Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA Uganda), a women-led NGO that has undertaken several initiatives aimed at addressing domestic violence for the last 45 years – acknowledged the growing concern towards Domestic Violence which in turn affects people’s productivity, hence hampering economic growth.
She added that it is important for workplaces to especially pay attention to the gendered impact of domestic violence and have this reflected in the policies, practices and responses to the problem.
Adriko applauded UBL for putting in place Domestic Violence/ Family abuse place, saying this complements Government’s efforts in addressing Domestic Violence. She asked other corporate organizations to follow suit.
“I thank UBL for being one of the pioneer private sector players to have a Domestic Violence Policy in place. This is only the beginning. With concerted efforts, I am sure this vice will be defeated for the good of Ugandans especially those that are most vulnerable,” she said.