26 September 2023

State push for paid family violence leave

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Victoria is calling on the Federal Government to follow the its lead and introduce the inclusion of paid leave after family violence in modern workplace awards.

Backing the call, the Minister for Industrial Relations, Tim Pallas said the State’s submission to the Commonwealth Fair Work Commission’s Family and Domestic Violence Leave Review included information about the take-up of Victoria’s paid family violence leave for Public Servants which was introduced in 2015.

Mr Pallas said Victoria was calling for at least 10 days of paid family violence leave for ongoing employees to support women’s safety and financial security.

“An average of 0.3 per cent of Victorian Public Sector employees across three of the largest Departments accessed paid family violence leave in the past year,” Mr Pallas said.

“Family violence leave has been included in all Victorian Public Sector enterprise agreements since 2015, meaning Public Sector employees including nurses and teachers have access to 20 days of paid family violence leave, or unpaid family violence leave for casual employees.

“Paid family violence leave can enable employees to take time away from work to attend to urgent matters, seek safe housing, attend medical appointments, court hearings or police stations, or organise care and school arrangements for their children, while maintaining employment and not exhausting their other forms of leave.”

Mr Pallas said employment and economic security could provide a crucial pathway out of violent relationships.

The Minister said the State argued that family violence leave should be introduced in modern awards and supported by an education campaign that promoted the benefits of paid leave to both the workplace and the affected employees.

“Family violence leave in the Victorian Public Service is straight forward to access and support can be provided through a manager, human resources, union representative, or a specially trained family violence contact in the workplace,” he said.

The State’s four-page submission to the Fair Work’s Review can be accessed at this PS News link.

Support for domestic and/or family violence can be accessed through Safe Steps, Victoria’s 24/7 family violence response centre for confidential crisis support, information and accommodation, on 1800 015 188.

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