A significant number of the 350,000 women each year who experience domestic violence, are members of a union or are employed in a unionised workplace.
Unions have advocated for every person’s right to a safe home, community and workplace for a long time. Unions have also recognised that domestic violence is not a private issue, but a systemic issue arising from wider social, economic and cultural factors that must be addressed in the public sphere, including workplaces.
The terms of reference of the Royal Commission are broad and relate to the adequacy of a wide range of policy and services to prevent and support those experiencing domestic violence.
The ACTU submission focuses on an area in which our expertise can contribute to the Inquiry:
- The critical role of employment in maintaining financial independence and escaping domestic violence;
- The role of workplace laws to protect and support employees experiencing domestic violence;
- The role of workplaces in driving social, cultural and behavioural change; and
- The importance of decent wages and savings in mitigating women’s vulnerability to violence.
Whilst our submission is focused on the role of workplaces and workplace laws in eliminating domestic violence, we have consistently advocated that effective operation of legislation relating to the protection of victims of domestic violence and children requires reforms which are integrated and complimentary.
To this end, our advocacy for amendments to employment legislation is based on the premise that the legislation will operate in an integrated manner with the broader legal domestic violence framework and service provision.