Soha has joined housing providers from across the country in signing up to the UNISON End Violence at Work Charter.
Receiving accreditation from this specifically third sector initiative demonstrates that Soha is committed to being vigilant about protecting staff at work.
The union's campaign document states that, "For some years now, it has been recognised that violence towards people working in … housing associations, is a significant problem – and it is getting worse." UNISON has adopted the Health and Safety Executive definition of violence at work as “any incident in which an employee is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work.”
Head of HR at Soha Housing, Katie Legg, says: "Meeting the UNISON Charter’s ten standards - starting with having a policy on managing violence and aggression at work and carrying out detailed risk assessments for roles - shows not only our staff, but also our contractors and partners, that we recognise and take seriously our duty to make coming to work safe. If an incident does arise, the Charter holds us to having measures in place to mitigate the impact of violence or aggression to our staff. This includes, amongst other things, the specialist counselling which Soha has offered staff for many years. It's regrettable that such a Charter is necessary, but investigations by Inside Housing, our sector's trade magazine, indicate that violence against and verbal abuse of housing workers is a widespread issue.”
The background to the campaign and Charter document can be found at https://www.unison.org.uk/at-work/community/key-issues/end-violence-work/end-violence-work-charter/