This year unions, including the SDA, called for paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave to be introduced in Modern Awards through a test case in the Fair Work Commission.
The SDA has already secured Domestic Violence Leave in several union-negotiated agreements but it’s crucial for this entitlement to extend to all workers.
While our recent Fair Work Commission case did not secure paid leave for domestic violence, the Commission did take an important step by recognising that family and domestic violence is a workplace issue and leave should be provided to workers who need it.
We support changes to Modern Awards to provide access to unpaid leave for workers experiencing family and domestic violence but this does not help women maintain financial security and independence which is vital during an experience of family and domestic violence
Now, we are pushing for 10 days paid leave to be included in the National Employment Standards.
Every week in Australia, one woman dies because of domestic violence. This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed in both the community and in workplaces.
Our current workplace laws need to change because they are failing women.
Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave provides financial and employment security which allows time off, including for attending court hearings or looking for a safe home to relocate children.
Access to paid leave is essential for any worker experiencing domestic violence so they are able to maintain employment and financial security to escape an abusive or violent situation.
What are the next steps?
Unions are seeking paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave as part of the National Employment Standards (NES).
While Moderns Awards set out the minimum wages and entitlements by industry, the National Employment Standards (NES) are entitlements that must be provided to all Australian employees regardless of where they work.
We’re campaigning to have Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave included in the National Employments Standards to make it a universal right for workers.
Family and Domestic Violence Leave in Union Agreements
Family and Domestic Violence Leave already applies to several agreements negotiated by the SDA.
We continue to seek leave for members when it comes to negotiating new agreements with employers.
1.6 million Australian workers across the country have access to paid leave because of union-negotiated agreements.
Unions, including the SDA, will continue our efforts to ensure workers experiencing family and domestic violence receive important protections at work.
If you would like information about family or domestic violence impacting you at work, please contact the SDA.
For professional help, counselling and support, call 1800-RESPECT.
For information and referral services in your state you can download the PENDA App here.
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