Call for paid family violence leave in private sector

By Our Reporter

The introduction of paid family violence leave in Victorian government jobs should lead the way for the leave to be implemented in the private sector, according to the Andrews Labor Government.

The Labor Government is calling for at least 10 days’ paid family violence leave for ongoing employees to support women’s safety and financial security as part of the Fair Work Commission’s Family and Domestic Violence Leave Review.

The submission to the Fair Work Commission provides new details about the take-up of Victoria’s paid entitlements.

An average of 0.3 per cent of Victorian public sector employees across three of the largest departments accessed paid family violence leave in the past year, an official press release said.

Family violence leave has been included in all Victorian public sector enterprise agreements since 2015, meaning public sector employees including nurses and teachers have access to 20 days of paid family violence leave, or unpaid family violence leave for casual employees.

Paid family violence leave can enable employees to take time away from work to attend to urgent matters, seek safe housing, attend medical appointments, court hearings or police stations, or organise care and school arrangements for their children, while maintaining employment and not exhausting their other forms of leave.

Employment and economic security can provide a crucial pathway out of violent relationships. The Labor Government argues that family violence leave should be introduced in modern awards, supported by an education campaign that promotes the benefits of paid leave to both the workplace and the affected employees.

Family violence leave in the Victorian Public Service is straight forward to access and support can be provided through a manager, human resources, union representative, or a specially trained family violence contact in the workplace.

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