Communicare and White Ribbon Australia welcomes a major ruling by the Fair Work Commission which will provide millions of Australians with access to 10 days of paid Family and Domestic Violence (FDV) leave.
More than 2.6 million workers covered under contemporary awards will be entitled to take annual leave at their basic rate of pay as a result of the decision. The ruling comes four years after the Commission introduced five days of unpaid FDV leave into the award system.
However, Communicare and White Ribbon Australia CEO Melissa Perry said this was just the first step, as a further 8.44 million workers will not be covered under this ruling.
“We would like to see the next Federal Government extend this ruling and legislate 10 days of paid FDV leave as a universal entitlement for all workers under the National Employment Standards to alleviate financial losses for vulnerable employees,” Ms Perry said.
“Until 10 days paid FDV leave is a universal minimum employment standard, vulnerable employees will have to make an unacceptable choice between their safety and having a regular income.
“The evidence is very clear that paid domestic violence leave provides victims and survivors with an opportunity to attend legal and medical appointments, find housing, schools, childcare and other essential supports.
“It’s been shown that access to reliable income is one of the most significant determinants in the decision to leave a violent relationship.
“More than 60 per cent of women experiencing FDV by a current partner are working. The impact of FDV costs Australian employers $175 million annually in direct and indirect workplace costs.
In 2009 the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (NCRVWC) estimated that violence against women and their children, including both domestic and non-domestic violence, cost the Australian economy $13.6 billion.
Research conducted in New Zealand shows that for every woman whose experience of violence was prevented as a result of the workplace protections in a particular year, an average of $3,371 (a conservative estimate) in production-related costs are avoided. In July 2018, New Zealand passed legislation providing for 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave.
“Paid FDV leave is just one of a raft of measures businesses can embed within their workplaces to address inequality, harassment and abuse, including partnering with primary prevention agencies to end violence before it begins,” Ms Perry said.
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John Cooke, Media and Communications Specialist
Phone: 0433 679 780 I Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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