The National Summit on Women’s Safety has concluded without the Morrison Government committing to enact all 55 recommendations of the Respect@Work report, or legislate for 10 days paid Family and Domestic Violence leave.
Two days of contribution from experts, victims and advocates will come to nothing unless the Morrison Government starts living up to its rhetoric on sexual harassment and violence against women.
Despite claims in the Summit’s concluding statement that the way forward is cooperation between unions, employers and Government, no representatives of working people were invited to address the Summit.
Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil
“Prime Minister Morrison repeatedly stated that his Government would act on all 55 recommendations of the Respect@Work report. The opportunity to do so came last week, and the Government implemented 6, voting against amendments which would have implemented all the legal changes recommended by the Sex Discrimination Commissioner including the critical positive duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment.
“This Government doesn’t need more reports or summits to know what do to for working women – they are already ignoring the majority of recommendations in the extensive national report that they commissioned. It is time to act to make workplaces safer for women.
“Family and domestic violence is a national crisis. It costs up to $20,000 and takes 140 hours to flee an abusive relationship, which means that paid leave from work is essential. The Morrison Government must urgently legislate for 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave in the National Employment Standards.
“This Summit promised action on workplace sexual harassment and gendered violence, but the Government has instead delivered a carefully politically controlled event, excluded the representatives of working women and failed to commit to act urgently to deliver Respect@Work and the universal right to paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave.”