Unions Win DV leave
The Union Movement have achieved a historic win this week. After
years of tireless effort from union members and community activists,
the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has made an in-principle decision that
workers covered by modern Awards should have access to 10 days paid
Family and Domestic Violence leave.
The next step for the campaign is to introduce the paid leave into the
National Employment Standards (NES). The NES are the minimum
entitlements for employees in Australia. With the inclusion of paid
family and domestic violence leave, another 8.4 million workers could
have a safer workplace.
The Morrison Government will not commit to including the
entitlement in the NES, whilst Opposition leader Anthony Albanese has
supported the change.
Australian Council of Trade Unions provided evidence from a range of
witnesses to support the claim for FDV leave, including from Dr Victoria
Jones, the Head of the Medical Unit of the Women’s Health Service in
the SA Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and Board member of the SA
branch of ASMOF.
Dr Jones provided extensive evidence as to the impact of FDV on women
and the urgent need for time and resources when women leave the
‘I have quite frequently seen patients who leave a relationship,
make a start on establishing a new life and then get completely
overwhelmed with the very large number of appointments they have to
attend; often because of a concern about disruption to their work or not
being able to afford to take leave from work. These women then
disappear from our service and we assume they return to the dangerous
While patients can use sick leave for some of the appointments they need
to attend, they can’t use sick leave for attending court or for
appointments with police, or financial and legal, and other services. In
my experience, mums with small children have often used lots of their
personal leave and don’t have much left. Many of our clients have a long
history of abuse and have used their sick leave entitlement due to
A common statistic that people in the DV sector talk about is that it
takes a women seven attempts to successfully leave a violent partner. Based
on what I have seen in my work with patients at the service, one of the
biggest barriers to successfully leaving a violent relationship is a
lack of financial resources.’
You can read the full decision
and a useful 20 page summary available here
1800RESPECT:Call 1800 737 732 if you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence.
No to Violence Men’s Referral Service:Call 1300 766 491 for anonymous and confidential telephone counselling, information and referrals for men.