After a decade of unions campaigning for 10 days’ paid family and domestic violence leave, the new federal government has passed legislation to enshrine the right of access for all workers. While successive Coalition governments refused to support this paid leave, IEU together with other Australian unions has actively campaigned to achieve family and domestic violence paid leave.
IEU members were amongst the first employees in the country to secure paid family and domestic violence leave in many union negotiated collective agreements. IEU members not covered by collective agreements, along with millions of workers in other industries, will now also have access to this critical safety protection for workers and their families.
Paid family and domestic violence leave saves lives
At least 1 in 4 women experiences physical or sexual violence perpetrated by a current or former intimate partner – a national crisis that has worsened during the pandemic.
Access to this leave will save lives, as it costs $18,000 on average to escape a violent relationship in Australia. We know that economic security is a key factor impacting whether a person subjected to family or domestic violence can escape from a dangerous situation.
No one should ever have to choose between their income and their safety
By enshrining the leave into the National Employment Standards, the new federal government has ensured that nearly every worker will receive this entitlement if needed. This includes casual and part-time workers.
This is a huge win. It means an extra 8 million workers across Australia have access to paid family and domestic violence leave.
This can give workers the time, support and job security they need to escape and recover from an abusive relationship.
This will save lives.
This win would not have happened without IEU member action and commitment to the campaign for paid family and domestic violence leave.
This article was extracted from IEU Speaks – a publication of the Independent Education Union.