UNISON’s End Violence at Work Charter is a campaign run in acknowledgement of the sad fact that for several years incidents of violence and aggression towards people working in public services has been increasing.
The union regularly surveys its members working in the community and are consistently told that almost half have experienced violence or aggression at work in the previous two years. Data gathered by Inside Housing has also shown that violence and verbal abuse of housing association staff is an acute problem.
To help combat this, UNISON has been working with employers to ensure robust levels of monitoring, support, safeguards and training are in place. Employers that can demonstrate that they have 10 specific measures in place are invited to become signatories to the charter.
The measures include having policies in place that cover violence and aggression at work and lone working, thorough risk assessment practices, and access to support and counselling services for staff who are victims of violence at work.
We were working towards becoming a signatory to the charter before lockdown, and we’re now pleased to report that UNISON is happy we are demonstrating the 10 standards called for by the charter. This means, as of last month, we are now signed up, making us the first housing association in the G15, a group made up of London’s largest housing associations, to achieve this. A spokesperson for UNISON said:
UNISON is delighted that Notting Hill Genesis is taking this important issue seriously. It has instituted good, robust policies and ways of working making sure that the risks of staff suffering violence at work are minimised, and that any incidents that do occur are responded to properly. We were pleased to recognise this by admitting NHG to the Violence at Work Charter, a group of employers doing the right thing for their staff in this area.
Vipul Thacker, group director of corporate services, said:
At NHG, we are committed to offering excellent service to our residents. We do this by listening to our customers, understanding their needs and delivering professional, helpful, high quality service and assistance. Most of our customer service transactions are completed in a satisfactory manner. Occasionally, things go wrong but we still don’t expect our staff to have to suffer violence or aggression at work. Being a signatory to UNISON’s End Violence at Work Charter demonstrates our ongoing commitment to staff safety.