Labor Pushes for Domestic Violence Leave
30 November 2015 at 11:05 am
The Australian Labor Party will take a proposal to introduce an additional five days of paid domestic violence leave in the National Employment Standards to the next election.
In announcing the policy Shadow Minister for Employment, Brendan O’Connor, said that domestic violence was an epidemic and a national disgrace.
Writing in a News Corp publication, O’Connor said the ABS estimated that domestic violence was the leading cause of death and injury in women under 45, with more than one woman murdered by a current or former partner every week.
“This year 76 women have died as a result of domestic violence, and thousands have been injured,” O’Connor said.
“Labor will announce that a Shorten Labor government would include an additional five days’ paid domestic violence leave in the National Employment Standards.
“In the spirit of bipartisanship I’m asking Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to support domestic and family violence leave.”
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) November 24, 2015
While Labor’s push for domestic violence leave was welcomed by advocates, the call for five days leave is behind what some Australian businesses are already offering.
In January this year Telstra announced that it would offer 10 days domestic violence leave for all of its 34,000 staff.
Telstra’s General Manager of Diversity and Industries, Troy Roderick, told Pro Bono Australia News at the time that the leave was available to anyone affected by domestic violence, even if they were not the direct victim, and that they could apply for it retrospectively.
“Domestic and family violence can take a variety of different forms, not just physical violence, but there can be emotional, financial or other kinds of violence that people experience,” Roderick said.
“There’s other leave if you need to take time off for other personal things. The idea here is we treat the subject matter with respect and the people that are experiencing family or domestic violence with the utmost respect, privacy and confidentiality, recognising the sensitivity around the issue.
Asked in Question Time whether or not he would support the proposal, Malcolm Turnbull said he would “consider it carefully”.