The Turnbull Government’s abandonment of paid family and domestic violence leave at today’s Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting is deeply irresponsible, and flies in the face of the widespread community acceptance that we must all do more to address domestic and family violence. 

Despite this disappointing outcome, Australian Unions will continue to campaign, and today have launched a short film. The film highlights the trauma and lack of rights that people experiencing family or domestic violence face as they try to manage work during such a challenging time in their lives. The film clearly demonstrates the overwhelming benefits offered by paid leave and the positive impact it can have on both workers and employers.

View the film at

The ACTU has mounted a claim in the Fair Work Commission (FWC) for 10 days family and domestic violence leave to be included in all modern awards. Our submission argued that workers experiencing violence at home should be able to access ten days of paid leave per year to allow them to deal with all the issues that arise out of a family or domestic violence situation, like seeking medical assistance, attending court, relocating or making safety arrangements for themselves or their children. A decision in the case is expected to be handed down in the first half of 2017.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver:

“Every White Ribbon Day or International Women’s Day we see members of the Government paying lip service to the need to fight family and domestic violence, but yet again they have failed to actually do something about it.”

“Two thirds of those experiencing family and domestic violence are in paid work, and helping people preserve their financial independence can be critical as they attempt to escape a life-threatening situation – yet the Minister for both Employment and Women Michaelia Cash continues to oppose paid leave.”

“This government has failed to make a submission to the Fair Work Commission, criticised the ABC’s inclusion of paid family and domestic violence leave in its new EBA, and attempted to clawback leave available to some public servants.”

“It’s clear that Minister Cash is now actively working against the best interests of women in the workplace.”