The Australian Council of Trade Unions is calling for the Turnbull Government to back growing calls for 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave under the National Employment Standards, to give women the support they need to escape when they are experiencing violence.
The Greens have today joined calls for the critical reform, announcing they would introduce a bill to federal Parliament to include 10 days paid domestic violence leave in the National Employment Standards.
The announcement follows the Australian union movement’s long-running campaign for the inclusion of 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave in the National Employment Standards.
Statement from ACTU National Campaign Coordinator Kara Keys:
“Malcolm Turnbull has constantly claimed to be a supporter of real action to help people suffering family and domestic violence, now he has a chance to do something.
“There’s now the Greens and the Opposition supporting changing the National Employment Standards to assist all workers experiencing domestic violence.
“Without paid leave, you can’t leave.
“We welcome the Greens support for working people who are experiencing violence, but the real test will be the Turnbull government, and whether they will support women seeking to rebuild their lives.
“The Turnbull Government is all talk and no action on domestic violence. All of the speeches and ribbon wearing don’t make up for the government’s lack of action.
“It’s completely unacceptable that women have been left to wait for so long in dangerous situations without the support they need to escape, often to protect their children.
“The Turnbull Government’s claims that it would cost too much to help women escape domestic violence with paid leave don’t stack up, both in terms of human decency and financially.
“Family and domestic violence costs our economy $12 billion per year. To fund 10 days paid leave it would cost 5 cents per worker per day, and most importantly, it will help save lives.
“Research shows that escaping an abusive relationship costs $18,000 and takes 141 hours, almost all during business hours.
“Without paid leave, women can’t leave.”