Up to six million Australians will now have access to a guaranteed entitlement of five days’ unpaid family and domestic violence leave following the passage of legislation in the Parliament today.
Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations and Minister for Women, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, said the Coalition Government’s legislation enshrines family and domestic violence leave as a workplace right in the National Employment Standards for the first time.
“This historic change to the law will enshrine a minimum standard for family and domestic violence leave to all Australians covered by the Fair Work Act,” Minister O’Dwyer said.
“Regardless of the basis of their employment or the size of their employer, this change will provide a universal safety net entitlement for workers under the Fair Work Act.”
“Australians who need to take leave to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence will be able to do so safe in the knowledge that their job is protected.”
The Fair Work Amendment (Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2018 extends the decision of the Fair Work Commission in March 2018 to grant five days’ unpaid leave to employees covered by modern awards to other employees covered by the Fair Work Act.
The Commission made its decision after carefully considering extensive evidence and submissions from unions, employers and other interested parties. It indicated it would revisit consideration of this issue in mid-2021.
Today’s change follows the recent announcement of additional initiatives to combat family and domestic violence in the $109 million Women’s Economic Security Statement in November.
“The Coalition Government has zero tolerance for violence against women, having committed well in excess of $350 million to address women’s safety,” Minister O’Dwyer concluded.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au.