Update: 1 February 2023
10 days paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave is now a workplace right for every employee in Australia – learn more about how the leave works.
This win comes off the back of a decade of campaigning by the union movement and activists. A decade which has seen us win change, workplace by workplace, agreement by agreement, then in Awards, and now, in the National Employment Standards.
Around 11 million workers in Australia may soon have access to paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave.
New Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Tony Burke has committed to enshrining the leave in the National Employment Standards (NES) as a top priority.
Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus welcomed the announcement.
“Including paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave in the NES is an historic reform and will help support people – nearly always women and children – escape abusive relationships. It will literally save lives,” McManus said.
In Australia, one in three women has experienced physical or sexual violence perpetrated by a man they know.
Support is always available
Call 000 if you, a child, or another person is in immediate danger.
1800RESPECT: Call 1800 737 732 if you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence.
No to Violence Men’s Referral Service: Call 1300 766 491 for anonymous and confidential telephone counselling, information and referrals for men.
Kids Helpline: Call 1800 55 1800 for 24/7 counselling for Australian children and young people.
Q Life: Call 1800 184 527 for anonymous and free LGBTQIA+ peer support and referral.
Just last month, the Fair Work Commission decided paid Family and Domestic Violence leave would be made available to the 2.6 million workers covered by modern Awards.
The NES are the minimum entitlements for employees in Australia. With the inclusion of paid Family and Domestic Violence leave, another 8.4 million workers could have a safer workplace.
The paid leave will be a “game changer” for working women who are disproportionately affected by family and domestic violence. At an average cost of $18,000 to flee, paid leave is crucial to give impacted workers the time and resources they need.
McManus emphasised that this progress certainly did not happen overnight.
“Unions have campaigned tirelessly for paid domestic and family violence leave for over a decade which will give some economic security to people leaving volatile and dangerous domestic situations and build supportive workplaces,” she said.
Access to paid family and domestic violence leave saves lives. No worker should ever have to choose between their income and their safety.
As union members, our actions are never for the advancement of the individual alone. That’s why we act to make changes that benefit everyone.
Union members are building fairer and safer workplaces for today – and tomorrow.