After years of tireless effort from unions and community activists, today the Fair Work Commission has made an in-principle decision that 2.66 million workers covered by modern awards should have access to 10 days paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave.

This is an historic step forward for workers’ rights in Australia, and has been won by working people against an intransigent Government which joined with Pauline Hanson’s One Nation to vote against paid family and domestic violence leave as recently as October 2021.

The next federal government will have to decide whether to extend paid family and domestic violence leave to all workers covered by the National Employment Standards (NES) ensuring the right covers an additional 8.44 million workers.

While the NES covers the vast majority of Australian workers, award provisions only apply to one in four.

We call on Scott Morrison to match Anthony Albanese’s commitment to providing 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave through the NES.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“This is an historic win and a generational achievement for millions of women who have fought for this against the resistance of this and previous coalition governments.

Already this year 18 women have been killed by their current or previous partner. Access to paid family and domestic violence leave saves lives. No worker should ever have to choose between their income and their safety. 

“The difference between this entitlement being in the award system and the NES cannot be overstated. Failing to include it in the NES would deny access to millions of working people.

“Scott Morrison must now match the commitment already made by Anthony Albanese to ensure that any of the 11 million Australian workers covered by the NES who needs to escape violence has paid leave to protect their homes and income while they protect themselves and their families.

“We call on Scott Morrison to follow the historic lead of the Fair Work Commission, reverse his previous opposition and to confirm that he will do his  part to ensure that every Australian worker has access to this life saving entitlement.”