The ACTU welcomes the decision of the Fair Work Commission to urgently commence a review examining the need for paid leave for workers experiencing family and domestic violence.

Dealing with the consequences of abuse takes time and money. Moving to find a new, safe place for yourself and your family costs on average almost $20,000 and takes more than 140 hours.

The unpaid leave entitlement which the Morrison Government has put forward does nothing for people trying to escape violence, find alternative accommodation or access legal assistance.

Now is the time for employers, states, territories and the federal government to put aside ideology and act in the best interests of people experiencing family and domestic violence by supporting the union claim for 10 days paid leave.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“We welcome the decision of the Commission to review the need for this this entitlement. Unpaid leave was never sufficient in a situation where people need tens of thousands of dollars and more than 140 hours to keep themselves safe from violence.

“The Morrison Government has refused time and again to provide the full, paid leave entitlement which we know will save lives. The private and public sectors have moved on without Federal leadership but this leave needs to be available for every worker in every workplace.

“Working from home during the pandemic has made it harder for many Australian workers to escape family and domestic violence, and made the campaign for paid leave even more urgent.

“It’s time for employers and Governments to join with the union movement and support this vital entitlement so that every working person knows they will never be forced to choose between their safety and their job.”