Countdown is proud to support the White Ribbon Trust by gifting a White Ribbon to its 18,000 team members to help shine a light on the issue of family violence in New Zealand.

As one of the first companies in the country to introduce a Family Violence Policy, Countdown has supported several of its team in the year since the policy was launched including providing access to additional paid leave for team members impacted by family harm, ensuring free counselling is available to those who need it, and providing other support such as changing rosters or transfers to accommodate changes of circumstance as needed.

Countdown has also undertaken extensive training with more than 400 of its managers, to assist them in understanding the policy,  the signs of family violence and how to approach and talk to team members who may be impacted by Family Violence.  The company has appointed 20 trainers across New Zealand who will commence in February 2018 running workshops for team in our stores and Distribution Centres about the issue of family violence and how they can access the policy.  They also have a dedicated confidential 0800 number that is manned and available 24/7 as well as a confidential email for team who are impacted that can reach out for support.

Countdown General Manager Corporate Affairs, James Walker, said he is pleased the policy has not only provided practical support for Countdown team members, but also that it has significantly raised awareness of the issue across the Countdown business.

“We’re one of the largest employers in the country, and we’re serious about providing a supportive and safe workplace.  In the year since we first introduced our Countdown Family Violence Policy, not only have we been able to make a real difference in some of our team members lives, but we’re talking about family violence more and making it ok to ask for help, which is imperative,” said Walker.

“The key has been following up the policy with action - getting out and talking to our teams about the issue, and giving them tools to spot the signs that someone needs help."

“As well as gifting a donation to the White Ribbon Trust, Countdown is encouraging its team to wear its White Ribbon proudly and take the pledge to stand up against family violence.  As New Zealanders, this is an issue that impacts us all, and it’s vital that we get out there and say it’s not acceptable for our friends, our families or any New Zealanders to be subjected to violence,” said Rob McCann, White Ribbon Campaign Manager.

Countdown is also working with several other businesses to implement family violence policies using our lessons from the previous year.

Countdown is in the final stages of becoming a White Ribbon Accredited Business.