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Managers Wellbeing Toolkit COVID-19

Healthcare workers play an essential role in the pandemic response and our people’s health, safety and wellbeing is more important than ever. 

This toolkit provides a set of guidance and simple tools to support your leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic to sustain your wellbeing, and the wellbeing of your team, your whānau and your community.

This is toolkit will be continuously updated and can also be found on your DHB Intranet.

Actions for leaders to sustain your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your team, whānau, and community

Caring for the Care Team

All District Health Boards COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Employee Related General FAQs

Communicating Well

A manager’s guide during COVID-19

How-to guide for managers on talking about wellbeing

A manager’s guide for when your team member is ill

Working arrangements 

A practical guide for managers on supporting teams working from home during COVID-19

A manager guide for team members working from home with caring responsibilities

Looking after yourself – practical tips and where to go for support

Working from Home COVID-19 – overview and guidance

Home and Work Plan for people working in clinical areas

Family Violence and COVID-19

Supporting staff affected by family violence during COVID-19  

Additional Support and Services for staff affected by family violence

 

Caring for the Care Team

This guide is designed to help you support your team through an uncertain and stressful time. The needs of our people will vary across each phase and alert level of the pandemic. 

These are the five evidence based, straightforward approaches we recommend to sustain wellbeing.

ISSUES AND LIKELY IMPACT

Fear of infection and implications for whānau and community 

Being overwhelmed at work or at home

The extremes of full on adrenaline-mode and automatic pilot

Exhaustion 

Moral distress

Distress linked to community, whānau, and personal experience of  COVID-19 

Experience / fear of stigma when out in public.

FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP

  1. Be visible – Be approachable. Role model wellbeing and lead with compassion. Demonstrate how you are looking after your own wellbeing – it will go a long way in encouraging your team to look after themselves.

  2. Hear with no judgment. Provide daily space and time for your team to ask questions and voice their concerns. Acknowledge issues and likely impact. Provide regular updates and a pre brief and debrief each day. Consider stand up forums, news bulletins, video / phone calls.

  3. Have each other’s backs. Check in on your team rather than checking up on them. Promote buddy/peer support in your team. Partner inexperienced team members with more experienced colleagues.

  4. Ensure the basics. Make wellbeing part of your 1:1 check-ins (not check-ups) with team members. Provide a quiet room away from workplace stress. Ensure your team take breaks for rest and recover and are able to connect (with physical distance) to their whānau and do what matters to them to nurture their wellbeing. 

  5. Give your team agency and acknowledgment. As much as possible, support your team to have control over their work where they can. Support them to do some of the work / tasks that fill their bucket and give them professional and personal satisfaction. Practice gratitude. A thank you goes a long way.

LIKELY IMPACT

  • Sustained wellbeing 

  • A psychosocial safe environment

  • Prevention of burnout, anxiety and fear 

  • Improved patient and community care and experience.

Adapted Adapted from: Advice for sustaining staff wellbeing in critical care during and beyond COVID-19. Intensive Care Society UK.
Author: Dr Julie Highfield, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Cardiff Critical Care. And Taranaki DHB.

 

Communicating well – a manager’s guide during COVID-19

As a manager in our DHB, you will be looked upon by your team members for support during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

This guide is to help you support your team through an uncertain and possibly very stressful time.

Actively seek out information from reliable source 

Team members are likely going to want to hear directly from their manager for information relating to COVID-19. You will be looked upon as a trusted source of advice and support by your team. Actively seek out reliable and current information. Ensure what you are communicating is factual.

We recommend the following sources for information:

Share information frequently and transparently with your team

Team members will appreciate frequent updates. Even if you have no new information, let your team know this. Provide the space for your team members to ask questions openly and honestly. It is okay to not know the answer. Do your best to respond and if you are not sure, let them know you will try and find out. Let your team know that updates and information are changing daily.

The Ministry of Health have created COVID-19 resources in multiple different languages(external link), you may want to share these with them.

Acknowledge the uncertainty and impact on wellbeing 

COVID-19 is rapidly changing the way we work, socialise, travel, exercise, shop and live. Team members might be concerned about the wellbeing of themselves, their whānau, friends and community. Check in regularly with your team members. Encourage team members to check in on one another. Notice any shifts in your team member’s behaviour and personality. 

Share the avenues of support that are available:

  • Mental Health Foundation(external link)

  • Employee Assistance Programme – you can request help and advice for any reason by calling EAP works on 0800 735 343. You can also email info@eapworks.co.nz or book an appointment online at  www.eapworks.co.nz – they are offering an initial telehealth consultation

  • Sustaining staff wellbeing in critical care during and beyond COVID-19 guide.

  • Mental Wellbeing Guide(external link)

Managing team members working from home and / or in self-isolation 

Those who have recently arrived back from overseas or who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 may need to self-isolate for 14 days. (If you are unsure whether a staff member needs to be in self-isolation you can contact Occupational Health and Safety).

If members of your team are in self-isolation, keep in contact with them regularly, share any updates at work or new information so they continue to feel connected and part of the team. If they are feeling well, they may like to work from home during this time. Refer to the Working from home – overview and guide in the managers toolkit. Investigate possible work or projects they might like to help with. Provide clear information about how to self-isolate correctly following the Ministry of Health’s guidelines.

Top tips to keep well during times of increased social distancing(external link). You could look to adopt some of these suggestions to keep some fun, humour and positivity in the team.

Healthline suggest the Quarantine Chat app amongst other creative ways to stay connected during this time. 

Seek out support for yourself too 

Being a manager comes with a lot of responsibility. During a pandemic this feeling of responsibility will likely be heightened and could feel overwhelming at times. Reach out to your colleagues to share what you have learned and to support one another. Delegate work to your team members if appropriate and be transparent about your own wellbeing and workload. Sharing how you are feeling will encourage others to do the same.

Where you can go for support:

  • Your manager

  • CEO briefing

  • HR Manager

  • Seek out a peer who you trust and can rely on for support

  • Real time Resilience Strategies.

If you have any other questions about your role and responsibilities as a manager during this time, you can speak to your manager and your internal Incident Management Team (IMT). If you have health related questions or concerns you may wish to contact Healthline 0800 358 545.

 

Communicating well – how-to guide for managers on talking about wellbeing 

It’s good to remember that no special skills are required to talk about wellbeing everyday and check-in with your team. If you notice a team member is struggling with their wellbeing, don’t ignore it. Be aware that talking about personal struggles can be difficult and they might get emotional or upset. You just need to be empathetic, approachable, and willing to listen.

Before you approach the person, ask yourself:

  • Am I in a good headspace?

  • Am I willing to genuinely listen?

  • Can I give as much time as needed?

  • What venue/space should I select to help the team member feel comfortable and private?

Ways to start the conversation

Help them open up by asking questions like:

  • “How are you doing?”

  • “What’s been happening for you lately?”

  • “I haven’t caught up, and wanted to check in about how you are feeling”

  • “How’s life? How are the family?”

Asking about wellbeing lets people know its ok to talk about how they are feeling and seek support when needed. If you notice someone maybe struggling mention specific things that have made you concerned for them, for example:

  • “You don’t seem yourself lately, whats up?”

  • “I noticed you’ve been quiet this week, are you okay?"

Ask are you ok twice, sometimes we say we are fine when we are not. This lets people know its okay to talk about how they are feeling and seek support when needed.

What if the person doesn’t want to talk?

  • Be relaxed if the discussion doesn’t go as you’d hoped

  • If the person doesn’t want to speak about it, respect their choice, but leave the door open for further dialogue

  • Always try to listen nonjudgmentally and see the issue from their perspective

  • Let them know you’re asking because you’re concerned about them

  • Acknowledge the person’s feelings

  • If they get angry or upset, stay calm and don’t take it personally.

Ask questions to explore what’s going on, for example:

  • “Have you spoken to anyone else about this?”

  • “What would help you manage the load?”

  • “What else is happening for you at the moment?”

  • “Is there anything further that I may do to support you?”

Encourage them to talk to someone they trust and/or a service that can help such as their GP, EAP, or Need to Talk? The 1737 National Telephone Counselling Service. 1737 is available 24/7 via text or phone call.

 

Communicating well – a manager’s guide for when your team member is ill

The most important thing to remember, is that your team member will need reassurance that it is okay and that it is important they stay at home while they recover.

Be prepared yourself, as they may be emotional or upset

Before you approach the person ask yourself: 

  • Am I in a good headspace?

  • Am I willing to genuinely listen? 

  • Can I give as much time as needed? 

If they have called in sick:

  • Pause and breathe before you respond to their news. 

  • Listen to their explanation with no judgement.

Navigating the conversation for either situation

  • Reassure them that not coming to work while sick is a practice supported by our DHB. 

  • Have a conversation about their situation, including whether there is a requirement to self-isolate. Self-isolation for a period of 14 days applies to all people who have returned from overseas (from the date of their return), or those who have come into contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID 19. All other employees can return to work once their symptoms cease. 

  • Establish with the employee how long the period of absence is likely to last on the basis of their situation. 

  • Agree how they would like to ‘stay connected’ and stay up to date about what support they may need, check-in not a check-up on their overall wellbeing, their absence and expected return to work date.

  • Continue to monitor the situation with the employee and plan for any staffing implications.

  • If you are unsure, consult the leave guidance or speak to your HR Consultant or Business Partner.

  • Remember that EAP is available to any member of staff for personal and confidential support. They can be contacted on 0800 735 343 or visit www.eapworks.co.nz(external link)

After the conversation

  • Take a moment to think about the conversation and work through any feelings you may be experiencing yourself.

  • Schedule reminders to make followup phone calls to stay connected with your team member.

The follow up phone call

  • Prepare yourself again. 

  • Have a conversation along the lines above.

 

A practical guide for managers on supporting teams working from home during COVID-19

If more of your team is working from home; your interactions as a manger and people leader are crucial and need to be added into how you work every day.

This needs to be more planned and purposeful, it is important your team feel valued, acknowledged and are not isolated from work. Here are some simple ideas to consider:

Your Team Pledge 

Ask you team the following:

  • How will we communicate with each other? E.g. zoom, skype, phone

  • How will we help team members to stay connected and to help when no one is around to help? E.g. virtual buddy system

  • How will the team communicate with people outside their team?

  • How will we keep up to date and provide space for questions on Covid-19?

  • How will we maintain some team fun during this time?

  • What are some of the impacts working from home and how can we support each other?

Staying connected with your team is key

  • Set up short team start up calls that everyone dials into. You might adjust the frequency and time to what is needed in your team daily, twice or three times a week. Make sure you speak to everyone on the call so they all contribute.

  • Include space for a COVID-19 update for the team, provide a safe space for people to speak out and ask questions. Be honest and transparent about what you know and what you will find out. This will maintain credible leadership and trust.

  • These connections and conversations should include space for general wellbeing and sharing what is going on. This helps maintain a sense of connection, some awareness of what might be going on in your employee’s life, and gives an overall sense of your team’s wellbeing

  • Set team goals and update on progress. What are your expectations for the team this week?

  • Have a routine agenda, set team expectations/goals for the week, ask each person to name their personal goal for the day, ask people to reflect on a personal success from yesterday “my best win from yesterday was…”, check in on who needs assistance today “something I need help with today is…”, recognise birthdays, anniversaries, and celebrations

  • Get a general understanding of any concerns your team may have.

Hold regular 1:1s – Check in rather than Check up

  • Set regular times for 1:1 checkins rather than checking up on your team members - ideally over video rather than audio so you can look for visual cues. Do they look okay or are they not their usual self? Ask are you okay? Ask twice - sometimes we say we are fine when we are not. This lets people know its okay to talk about how they are feeling and seek support when needed. Remember you don’t have to have all the answers.

  • Be aware and have specific knowledge of who in your team is vulnerable and/or who has vulnerable family members or any personal circumstances that may be adding pressure to them at this time. Be aware of any specific support they might need. Keep questions simple and if they don’t want to talk about their situation just let them know you are always available.

  • Offer Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) support if needed, EAP works offers free confidential advice and guidance for individuals and teams on 0800 7353 4375. Or encourage your team to talk to someone they trust.

  • Lead with an empathic and compassionate approach and listen non-judgmentally.

  • Overworking can be a problem for people working from home. Encourage your team to keep supportive daily routines or to create new ones if they are holed up at home. For example, regular times for meals, physical activity, and breaks from the computer. Routines tell our brains when it is safe to dial the stress response back down and prevent us from becoming more anxious.

  • Not everyone will have a perfect home office setup to work from. Check in on your team’s working from home arrangements and working from home, and use the working from home overview and guide in this toolkit to support them.

 

A manager guide for team members working from home with caring responsibilities

Lead with an empathic and compassionate approach and listen non-judgmentally.

Before you start the conversation ask yourself:

  • What are the essential activities that must be maintained and what can wait?

  • Am I in a good headspace?

  • Am I willing to genuinely listen?

  • Can I give as much time as needed?

Navigating the process

  • Establish a routine with your team members discussing and agreeing expectations and goals for the week following:

Expected deadlines for critical work.

Outline of what is to be maintained on a day to day basis.

Who to contact if they need assistance or need to raise any concerns they may have, including their progress in meeting the agreed expectations.

Agree Dates and times for check-ins.

Agree how you will communicate with each other? E.g. zoom, Skype, phone, Whats App.

  • Be clear and check in for understanding.

  • Remember, working from home can be difficult to navigate with family in the same space. Trust your employee to do their best. Check-in, don’t check-up.

  • Check-in on their overall wellbeing and how they are doing. Check-in on personal work successes and any assistance needed, recognise birthdays and other significant events.

  • Overworking can be a problem for people working from home. Encourage your team to keep supportive daily routines or create new ones if they are now holed up at home. For example regular times for. meals, physical activity, and breaks from the computer. Routines tell our brains it’s safe to dial the stress response back down and prevent us from being more anxious.

  • Consult your HR Consultant or HR manager, if you have any questions or face issues.

Use of existing networks for additional care 

The Ministry of Health has issued formal advice confirming that essential workers can use their existing networks for in-home care. These might include a neighbour, relative, friend or current carer/nanny who can come to their house, or provide childcare in their own home.

Remind the staff member that this is available, however there are important public health rules that need to be complied with:  

  • The person providing care becomes an extension of the self-isolating household group.

  • This group needs to be limited to minimise spread and should be no more than 20 people in total.

  • This group must remain the same for the whole four-week period.

  • The carer should not care for anyone else from other households (other than their own) over the same period.

  • If the person being cared for or carer becomes unwell, they must stay at home.

 

Looking after yourself – Some practical tips and where to go for support

Your wellbeing is important and there are simple things you can do to help manage uncertainty and fear.

Research tells us looking after ourselves and each other is the best place to start. 

Find the right people to talk to

Share your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust, share facts.

‘How is this conversation helping me to feel good and function as best as I can right now?’

Watch your media diet

Take a break from following the news and social media.

‘Look at your media intake over 24hrs and ask yourself is this helping or harming the way I feel?

Focus on relationships

Connecting with others who make you feel safe, loved and connected is one of the most important things you can do.

Get the facts

Seek information on COVID-19 only once or twice a day. The constant stream can cause anyone to feel worried. Get the facts from reliable sources like covid19.govt.nz(external link)

Do what makes you feel good

Care for your mind, body, soul and family nurture all aspects of your wha.

Te Whare Tapa Whā and ways to wellbeing(external link).

Stick to routines

Keep supportive daily routines. It tells our brains it’s safe to dial the stress response back down and prevent us from being more anxious.

Take care of basic needs

Rest and time out help, at work and away from work.
Keep well through appropriate rest, eating and actions to boost your immune system. Use wellbeing strategies that work for you or create new ones.

Pace yourself

This is likely to be a marathon. Be aware of bandwidth, it may take longer to think things through and make sense of things and that’s okay.

Focus on what matters

Focus your resources on what you can control and what matters.

Worrying about things you can’t change can be upsetting and frustrating.

Need more support

If over days and weeks your distress or stress symptoms are escalating, or you feel you are not coping, help and professional support is available. You can talk to your manager, director, professional lead, professional supervisor, team leader, or HR lead.

  • For health advice call Healthline 0800 611 116

  • Need to Talk? 1737 National Telephone Counselling Service. Available 24/7 via text or phone

  • Employee Assistant Programme (EAP) support for you or your team 0800 735 343.

 

Working from Home COVID-19 – overview and guidance

All of our staff and the work you do is invaluable and important. Some of our people are working from home, because:

  • They have been directed to work from home and are not in an essential role

  • They have been instructed to selfisolate, for example after retuning from overseas.

This guideline is designed to provide some practical support for setting yourself up at home and to ensure we are clear about expectations and covers: 

Working from home is a short-term, intermittent or on-going arrangement that allows our people to perform their work, or suitable alternative tasks, at a site other than their usual place of work (usually their home).

The overarching principles behind our approach during our Covid19 response are;

  • Working from home has become an important tool in the management of the spread of disease. It is an arrangement that allows our people to perform their work, or suitable alternative tasks, at a site other than their usual place of work (usually their home). The efforts of all our employees are a highly valuable part of our response.

  • Wherever practical, maintaining a linkage to useful work will be good for the health and wellbeing of our people.

  • While periods of self-isolation are a necessary part of the public health response it is important our people can stay connected to their work whānau.

  • The current situation is unique and we may ask people to perform different activities to what they would normally in their work. These assignments will not contravene any clinical certification / registration / scope of practise requirements.

  • An employee’s request to work from home will be considered by the employee’s manager, and approval will be subject to the operational requirements of the role when considering requests – and will of course be consistent with the overall alert level requirements.

  • If individuals have underlying health conditions which they feel would be better managed outside of the normal place of work, they are advised to disclose these to their managers who have the option to consult Occupational Health for advice. If they do not want to disclose to their manager, staff have the option to ask to be referred to Occupational Health.

It is acknowledged that the usual place of work will remain the primary place of work once we get clear of the current circumstances. It is also intended that usual role / work duties will remain what they were prior to the response as well. For the avoidance of doubt the terms and conditions of employment for an employee do not change when working from home under this guideline. This includes hours of work. Unless otherwise agreed, the number of hours an employee works per week will not change whilst they are working from home.

Any arrangements made to work from home, especially on alternate duties, should be entered into with the direction and/or approval of your manager.

In general, you should assume that DHB policies, procedures and practices apply when working from home. Failure to follow company policy, practices, procedures and rules may result in the changes in the arrangement and normal approaches to managing any breaches will apply.

It’s really important to stay connected

These are difficult times and maintaining as normal a relationship between manager and employee as possible is best.

Set up a regular pattern of frequent check-ins:

  • This could be by phone or video conference. Both will increase the quality of connection and are preferable to sole reliance on email. Maintain expectations that team members dial into team meetings and other collective conversations.

  • Part of these connections and conversations should have space to include general wellbeing and what is going on. This helps maintain a sense of connection and minimise isolation from work and colleagues.

  • Managers should, where possible, respond quickly to and be available for employee’s questions. It’s okay to say I’m busy now but will come back to you soon.

  • Communication needs to be clear and concise for those at home. Provide the ‘why’, the context and relevant information. Look to agree a call in time for the team regularly. Make sure they know what’s going, what’s happening at the moment. This is a fairly tricky time for many and maintaining an understanding of what is going on at work and in the wider health response will be important.
  • As a team discuss some of how you will work from home and possible impacts of working from home. Plan together how you will make this work

Working from home and health and safety – what do I need to do?

No matter when and where an employee works, ensuring their health and safety is a shared responsibility between DHB and the employee. When working remotely the employee is required to maintain a safe working environment and to report any event to their line manager in the same way they would if working in the office. Please note the DHB does not assume responsibility for injury sustained when a staff member is not working.

To assist with managing ergonomic risks from computer use, all home workers are recommended to complete Habit at Work(external link), the ACC provided educational tool. This promotes self-help and problem solving for the prevention and management of discomfort, pain and injury. Appendix 1 provides more guidance and details on setting up your workstation.

Staff are not to hold business meetings with clients or colleagues at their home addresses.

IT Requirements for working from home

The DHB may provide employees with devices to assist the employee to work remotely. These may include a laptop, phone or other equipment relevant to the role / tasks they are performing. Staff working from home using their own computer or laptop will need a high-speed broadband data plan which includes anti-virus networking. Your DHB will be able to provide deviCes and licences as stipulated in their business continuity plan.

Consideration will need to be given to the IT requirements to support the arrangement (devices / licenses etc).

Security & Privacy

The same level of security protection applied to information technology equipment within the office, is to be applied to equipment used off site. This includes the following:

The employee shall not leave equipment unattended in public places.

Appropriate password protection Information must be stored in such a way that only the employee can access it.

All information technology security breaches must be reported to the IS service desk.

An employee working from home is also responsible for ensuring the same level of security protection to all documents/ information taken to the remote work site as is applied to documents/ information within the DHB office.

Privacy considerations also need to be carefully managed – ideally people should work in an office or separate room away from non-employees. You a reminded that you have obligations under your existing confidentiality arrangements which apply to both employee and patient information. These obligations remain in force when you are working from home. If you want a reminder of what’s in that agreement please contact your HR partner. 

Equipment provided by the DHB will be covered by the DHB’s insurance policies. The DHB will take responsibility for the repair or replacement of damaged or stolen office equipment in the event of theft or damage where reasonable steps have been taken to protect the technology equipment. For example access to citrix.

 

Good work habits 

  • Set up a dedicated space to work. Somewhere comfortable with limited distractions.

  • Create a morning and evening routine to mark the beginning and end of the working day.

  • Agree with your manager a work schedule / workload to follow through the working day.

  • Change postures and positions every half hour.

  • Keep hydrated, take breaks and keep routines.

Equipment

  • A backpack to transport the laptop (put one strap on each shoulder).
  • Take your external keyboard and mouse home with you.
  • Use a box or books (something stable to raise the height of your laptop to eye level (a solid box or books).
  • Once the work day is completed, don't leave your laptop or computer on (you'll be tempted to keep going back to it). Put your laptop out of sight until the next working day.

Setting up a work station

It is recommended that the ACC Habit At Work(external link) self help tool is undertaken as while they use an office environment, the principles taught can be applied to a home setting.

For any queries, or if further assessment is required please contact your HR Team and or email Occupational Health and Safety.

 

Home and Work Plan for people working in clinical areas

This is designed for people working in clinical areas with patient interaction.

Clinical areas will develop processes with staff to suit their clinical situation.

Coming to work

  • Bring only what you need to work

  • Wear your own clothes and shoes to work.

At work 

  • Store your bag in staff area with lunch, drink bottle

  • Personal phone – keep in own bag in staff only area

  • Work phone – keep in Ziploc bag in pocket

  • Frequently wipe clean surfaces and equipment

  • Change into work clothes/uniform/ scrubs and work shoes

  • Follow approved PPE and hand washing protocol

  • Observe physical distancing wherever possible.

Going home

  • Leave pens at work

  • At end of shift change into own clothes. Place work clothes/ uniform/scrubs in plastic bag to take home, or leave them at work for laundering.

  • Wipe shoes or leave at work

  • Thoroughly wash hands and arms

  • Shower if in high risk area

  • Collect your belongings from the staff area.

At home

  • Maintain physical distancing initially

  • Put work clothes/uniform directly into washing machine

  • Wash clothes with washing powder (cold wash is fine)

  • Dry clothes as normal

  • Have a shower if you have not already had one at work

  • Hug your family.

 

Family Violence and COVID-19

Supporting staff affected by family violence during COVID-19

We are committed to supporting our employees affected by domestic or family violence. Due to the impact of COVID-19, many employees and their families may be experiencing more stress in their homes, leading to difficult situations, and may need  our help.

This resource is designed to help managers to:

  • recognise signs of domestic or family violence.

  • respond and refer employees to internal and external supports.

  • understand the rights of employees affected by domestic or family violence.

  • access information about support services and helplines that can be used by victims of domestic/family violence, victims of sexual violence or those in situations that make them fearful, threatened or harassed.

Manager or colleague – one person can make a difference

Whether you are a manager or colleague, it’s important you respond appropriately to an employee experiencing or disclosing domestic or family violence and that you are responsive to needs.

The three Rs

  1. Recognise. Signs that an employee may be experiencing family violence include unexplained injuries and sensitivity about home life. 
  1. Respond. Support and empower your colleague to ask about immediate help for them and their children.
  1. Refer. Internal and external supports. 

Reach out and support employees

  • Give support not advice 

  • Listen 

  • Be available and approachable 

  • Don’t tell them what to do 

  • Take violence seriously 

  • Let them make their own decisions

  • Always think about safety – your own and the person you want to help.

What to do 

  • Keep in touch 

  • Be there for support

  • Keep the door open 

  • Offer a safe space to go 

  • Discuss support from external agencies who can help

  • Discuss support from internal staff who can help.

What to say 

  • Is there anything I can do?

  • Is someone hurting you?

  • It’s not okay you are being hurt

  • When you are ready I am here 

  • It is not your fault someone is hurting you 

  • Do you feel safe at home?

Employee rights

Rights for employees affected by domestic violence under the  Domestic Violence – Victims Protection Act. 

The Act gives employees affected by domestic violence the right to:

  1. Take up to 10 days of paid domestic violence leave each year – separate from all other leave. 

  2. Short term flexible working arrangements – lasting up to  two months.

  3. Not be treated adversely in the workplace because they might have experienced domestic violence. 

Everyone has these rights, even if the domestic violence happened in the past. 

More Information

If you are personally experiencing, or know someone who is experiencing domestic or family violence, you can go to our DHB domestic/family violence intranet page, where you will find the information on how the DHB can support you with this.

Getting Help 

Free and confidential help is available. You can talk to someone if you or someone you know is being abused, or if you want to change your own behaviour.

If you are in immediate danger or someone you know is, when it is safe to do so, call the Police on 111, even if you are not totally sure harm is occurring.

Services and support are available for anyone experiencing abuse from a partner, ex-partner, family member, flatmate, friend or carer. 

Additional Support and Services 

If you are a victim of domestic or family violence, sexual violence or there is someone that makes you fearful, threatens or harasses you, seek help as soon as possible. Everyone has the right to be safe. Find a range of services and support below.

Finding a Local Support Service

Family Violence Services

Sexual Violence Services

Services for those who want help to stop harming


Youth Services

 

Support for Rainbow community/ LGBTQI+

 

Mental Health Services

Northern Region: 0800 732 825

Central North Island: 0800 555 434

South Island: 0800 876 682.