ACTU welcomes Fair Work Commission calls for review of paid leave for family violence

by Freya Lucas

April 21, 2021

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has welcomed the decision of the Fair Work Commission to urgently commence a review examining the need for paid leave for workers, including those in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, who are experiencing family and domestic violence.

 

“It’s time for employers and Governments to join with the union movement and support this vital entitlement so that every working person knows they will never be forced to choose between their safety and their job,” ACTU President Michele O’Neil said. 

 

Moving to a place of safety costs on average $20,000 and takes more than 140 hours, she explained, saying that a proposal put forward by the Government to allow for unpaid family violence leave “does nothing for people trying to escape violence, find alternative accommodation or access legal assistance.”

 

Instead, the Union is lobbying for ten days of paid leave to allow employees to put measures in place to safely leave violent situations.

 

“We welcome the decision of the Commission to review the need for this entitlement,” Ms O’Neil said, adding that while the private and public sectors have moved on without Federal leadership the leave “needs to be available for every worker in every workplace.”

 

“Working from home during the pandemic has made it harder for many Australian workers to escape family and domestic violence, and made the campaign for paid leave even more urgent.

 

“It’s time for employers and Governments to join with the union movement and support this vital entitlement so that every working person knows they will never be forced to choose between their safety and their job.”

 

To learn more about the Fair Work review please see here

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