Unions welcome ACT Govt. support for paid domestic violence leave

UnionsACT today has welcomed the ACT Government’s submission to the Fair Work Commission supporting the union claim for 10 days paid domestic violence leave.

Unions have been campaigning for the inclusion of 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave to be included as a National Employment Standard, and included in modern awards. This would ensure that all workers would be entitled to paid leave if they have experienced family or domestic violence.

The Fair Work Commission last week commenced three weeks of hearings, to consider the union movement’s claim.

One in six women and one in twenty men experience family or domestic violence. Providing a paid leave entitlement for victims of domestic violence is an integral part to the whole-of-community response to this scourge.

Paid leave will allow an employee subjected to family and domestic violence to take an absence from work to attend appointments with medical, legal or financial professionals, or to make arrangements to relocate or ensure their children’s protection, without suffering financial disadvantage. This not only supports people subjected to current violence, but also facilitates safe escape from dangerous situations, thus helping to reduce or eliminate further violence.

The ACT Government has been a leader on the issue of domestic violence, including introducing a levy to fund front-line services.

The following quotes are attributable to Alex White, secretary of UnionsACT:

“Unions welcome the support of the ACT Government and ministers Yvette Berry and Rachel Stephen-Smith.

“Every worker should have the right to access paid leave if they have experienced family or domestic violence.

“Family and domestic violence is at crisis levels in Australia, and the workplace has a crucial role to play in responding to domestic violence.

“It is to the great credit of the ACT Government that they are standing with unions to champion this right.