PARIS — With domestic violence spiking in recent months, exacerbated by the pressures of the pandemic, Kering has drawn up a global policy to support employees who are victims of domestic violence.
“As a global group, we believe that we have a role to play in fighting this and providing practical help for its victims, particularly in the current situation, where this violence has only increased,” Béatrice Lazat, Kering’s director of human resources, said in a statement.
Support, which comes in the form of a confidential package and assistance from specialist organizations, includes adjusting an employee’s working conditions, like changing the location or introducing flexible hours, providing specific leave or financial assistance. It extends to all employees of the group, including those who work at labels belonging to Kering. The group cited the International Labour Organization’s Convention number 190 on violence and harassment in the workplace in its decision — a framework set up in 2019 — noting that the workplace is often the safest place for victims.
“With this pioneering policy, Kering is underlining its absolute commitment to the well-being and safety of its employees,” Lazat said.
Kering has been active promoting gender equality and inclusivity. Reflecting a progressive approach to human resources, it implemented a group-wide family leave policy for new parents last year.
The group has also been active fighting violence against women through its foundation for more than a decade.
“We are very proud of this policy, as it allows us to take further action in a very practical way within the company,” said Céline Bonnaire, executive director of the Kering Foundation.
Bonnaire will take part in a Generation Equality Forum conference on gender-based violence in Mexico on Monday, as part of Kering’s involvement in the U.N. Women-led forum, which is cohosted by France and Mexico.
The group’s foundation has supported organizations helping women affected by violence in various countries, including the U.S. and the U.K., as well as funding groups aimed at promoting healthy masculinity and gender equality.
Individual brands at the luxury company have also been actively involved in issues related to women’s rights and protecting against domestic violence during the pandemic, including Gucci with its Chime for Change initiative.
One in three women has experienced domestic violence, across different cultures, socioeconomic classes and nationalities, according to the World Health Organization, noted Kering.