Family and Domestic Violence Leave

The Member for Newtown Jenny Leong MP joined the discussion on Domestic Violence Leave in the NSW Parliament. 

Women attempting to escape family violence situations often face additional hardships if they don’t have the support they need from their workplaces. It is important that paid domestic violence leave is in place to provide support for the thousands of women who find themselves in family violence situations every year.

Ms JENNY LEONG ( Newtown ) ( 16:18 ): By leave: I make a brief contribution to the discussion of this matter of public importance. The Greens support domestic violence leave as a universal workplace entitlement. I take this opportunity to acknowledge the Australian Services Union. I was unable to join the rally it held outside Parliament House last week but I support the union's claim for 10 days paid domestic violence leave for all workers.

It is incredibly important that Australia takes steps in this direction. I point out that the International Labour Organization is currently seeking advice from Australia, particularly from the Australian Council of Trade Unions, which is urging the ILO to follow Australia's lead in providing domestic violence leave. Australia can make a positive contribution to an international convention on violence against women and men at work. As a State, we should be advocating and supporting paid domestic violence leave, and Australia as a country can contribute to global protections.

Domestic violence leave is a provision that recognises the spread of domestic violence within our community. It is the responsibility of our workplaces, our governments and our society to work to recognise the spread of domestic violence, to protect survivors and victims of domestic violence and ensure that they are provided with support in their workplaces. We know that women often have to decide whether to escape family violence situations or to stay at home because of the financial reality of how they will manage. If there are actions we can take in this place to mandate domestic violence leave that will support women in those situations we should do that. The Greens support domestic violence leave and we support the campaign for it. We recognise that it needs to be pushed for. Domestic violence leave should not be politicised but recognised as something that can help women who are trying to escape domestic violence to maintain their workplace rights.

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