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Employers in Lichfield and Burntwood are being asked to look out for “tell-tale signs” their workers may be in an abusive relationship.

New Era, which provides support and advice services to victims as well as perpetrators across Staffordshire, said with people returning to their jobs after the coronavirus lockdown, the chance to identify those in need of help was greater than ever.

Mickey Hemmings, New Era’s acting head of service, said:

“There’s no doubt the lockdown has brought added emotional, financial and other pressures for many people.

“If a colleague is showing a change in their personality, either by being quieter and more withdrawn than usual, appearing to be on tenterhooks or worried about something, it might be a sign they are in an abusive relationship and in need of support. 

“Whatever the circumstances, it’s important local employers – and employees – know what to do.

“If anyone is experiencing domestic abuse or concerned about someone else who might be, we’re able to provide specialist round-the-clock advice and guidance.”

Mickey Hemmings, New Era

The organisation said other indicators could include having a succession of unplanned days off work, offering to work longer shifts and extra overtime, and an apparent reluctance to go home.

“Research shows employers who don’t tackle domestic abuse are more likely to see a reduction in productivity and lower staff morale within their organisation, as well as a higher turnover of people, which could lead to extra recruitment and other costs.”

Mickey Hemmings, New Era

New Era runs free one-day domestic abuse awareness and workplace champions across Staffordshire. For more information email new-era@victimsupport.org.uk or info@staffordshirechambers.co.uk.

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