The Government are putting forward radical new proposals in a consultation on measures to be included in their Domestic Abuse Bill, which includes a new statutory definition on the meaning of “abuse”, in that for the first time it recognises economic abuse. This includes withholding access to wages or bank accounts, food, clothing, transport or indeed forcing someone to take out loans etc.
In addition the proposed new civil Domestic Protection Orders could include other sanctions, for example, not contacting the alleged victim whether online or by other electronic means, not to go within a certain distance of the victim and even bans on drinking alcohol or taking drugs.
The consultation also includes suggestions that positive requirements could include alleged perpetrators attending programmes on parenting or to address underlying attitudes, as well as having to attend drug or alcohol rehabilitation treatment. They may even be required to notify the Police of any relationship or even be tagged to monitor their movements. There is also a suggestion that there may be criminal sanctions which could follow a breach of the conditions.
Following on from this there has to be consideration that, certainly with larger employers, national companies and the like that employers may introduce certain conditions in Employment Contracts and this could have a knock-on effect within Employment Law as society’s view on domestic violence changes.
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