The ACTU welcomes the support of domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty for its claim to give millions of Australian workers access to domestic violence leave.

Rosie Batty and Deputy Leader of the Opposition Tanya Plibersek were guest speakers at the Women’s Lunch at the ACTU Congress in Melbourne today.

Ms Batty offered her support for the ACTU’s claim to give more than four million workers covered by an award access to ten days paid domestic violence leave for permanent staff and ten days unpaid leave for casuals.

Having access to domestic violence leave means victims have time to attend court appearances and related appointments, seek legal advice and make relocation arrangements.

It helps an employee experiencing family violence to keep their job and maintain financial independence, which is critical for women trying to escape a violent relationship.

The ACTU claim is currently before the Fair Work Commission as part of a review of modern awards, which apply to more than four million Australian workers.

Australian unions will also vote on a resolution at the ACTU Congress this afternoon calling for bipartisan support for the ACTU’s domestic violence leave claim and for all political parties to support the inclusion of paid domestic violence leave as a minimum safety net entitlement.

Key facts:

  • 39 women in Australia have been killed by their male partner so far this year.
  • Over 1.6 million employees now have access to paid domestic violence leave in union negotiated workplace agreements.
  • Domestic violence costs the Australian economy $16.8 billion each year

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Ged Kearney:

“Domestic violence is a whole of society issue and that includes the workplace and employers.

“Having a job and financial stability is critical for women to escape a violent and abusive relationship.

“If the government is serious about tackling domestic violence, it should support the ACTU claim to give more than four million award-reliant workers access to domestic violence leave.“