A YORK employment law firm has joined a business network which works with employers to tackle domestic abuse.

Torque Law has joined the Employer’s Initiative on Domestic Abuse which shares best practice with members.

Remote working removed the workplace as a safe reprieve for abuse victims, with the National Domestic Abuse Helpline recording a rise in calls and website enquiries during the crisis.

Torque Law is highlighting to clients the importance of being able to identify and support vulnerable employees as well as hosting monthly virtual coffee mornings to share advice, and where clients can talk peer to peer.

Torque Law is also a corporate partner of York women’s charity Kyra which helps women to make positive changes in their life.

Emma Whiting, a partner, said: “The statistics surrounding domestic abuse during the pandemic are extremely alarming.

"The Domestic Abuse Bill finally received Royal Assent on April 29, 2021 which has taken over 12 months to pass, far longer than anticipated because of Covid-19, but will hopefully help to further raise awareness of the issue.

"As women, employers and lawyers we feel compelled to do as much as possible to highlight this increasing problem and give the best advice possible to our clients when it comes to being able to support members of their team who may be vulnerable.

"We are proud to be part of the legal sector that is coming together to combat this issue and thankful to EIDA who are providing us with valuable toolkits to share with our clients.”

Elizabeth Filkin, chair of the EIDA, said: “We are delighted to have such a strong legal contingent in our membership. The legal sector is a significant part of the UK economy and knowing that it is committed to tackling the scourge of domestic abuse, demonstrates the progress being made to highlight the important role of employers in doing so.

"Businesses in client services can not only support their own workforce, but by committing to speak to clients about what they can do, will go a long way to stopping domestic abuse in all its forms, once and for all.”

The legal sector has become acutely aware of the rise in domestic abuse during the pandemic with 18 law firms and legal organisations now members of EIDA.

Charities have launched new schemes in response to the rising domestic abuse figures, including Safe Spaces, where those suffering can seek help at pharmacies, as well as expansion of existing tools, such as the BrightSky app.

The Government have also taken steps to provide extra support for those experiencing domestic abuse, with the launch of their #YouAreNotAlone campaign signposting help available for victims in venues such as supermarkets.