Paid domestic violence leave entitlements essential

MEDIA RELEASE

For media comment by WEL NSW contact: Philippa Hall 0466273308 or Cat Gander 0419 886620

Government can’t afford not to take the next step - paid domestic violence leave entitlements essential for women’s safety and financial security

(Wednesday, 1 August) – The Women’s Electoral Lobby (NSW) welcomes day one for Australia’s first national domestic and family violence leave entitlement with a warning to the Federal Government – don’t pause, keep going.

WEL NSW Convenor, Philippa Hall, acknowledged today’s milestone by urging the Australian Government to complete the task and deliver the recommended 10 days paid leave entitlement. “Today is a much-awaited day for millions of women who have endured the threat of employment insecurity and isolation in the workplace, as a consequence of the devastating suffering of psychological, financial, emotional and physical abuse in their personal life. 

“This is a good first-step as a national response to the millions of working women who need their employer to recognise that their life needs are equal to those who need any other form of leave entitlement. In fact, a woman enduring violence in any form needs her employer to not only provide the appropriate employment entitlements but be proactively supporting a workplace culture that is responsive to her needs and safety.

“It is extraordinary that as a society we need to make accommodation for intolerable levels of violence for employees. But until this situation changes across our community legislated workplace resources and support are necessary.

WEL NSW urges all state and territory governments to fast track, as a matter of urgency, the necessary companion legislation for this entitlement, and to actively promote to all organisations the need to update employment agreements and contracts.

“No woman should have to second guess whether they are entitled to this leave.

WEL NSW recommends that the Federal Government include the next step as part of its commitment to address the financial inequality and insecurity of women across Australia.

Ten days paid domestic violence leave recognises that women cannot afford to go one day without a wage while they are experiencing and trying to manage the horrors of domestic and family violence.

Research clearly shows that leaving a violent relationship can be costly. The costs can include medical, counselling, legal and relocation. Financial hardship can prevent women from leaving a violent relationship. Economic support through paid leave can make the difference between being tied to the relationship or getting free.

“We urge the Federal Government to take the next crucial step and legislate for 10 days paid domestic violence leave nationally. This will bring it into line with all other equal paid leave entitlements and respond to just one of the gaps that contribute to many women’s financial insecurity and safety,” concluded Ms Hall.

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WEL NSW requests that all media include the following when reporting on issues of violence against women.

If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 for advice or support. This free service providing confidential advice is open 24/7. In an emergency, call the police on 000. All incidents of violence should be reported to the police. For urgent support call Lifeline 13 11 14  If you are in danger, please call the Police - 000

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