Media Release

6 December 2017

NSW Labor will extend its Domestic Violence – Paid Leave policy to all workers in New South Wales if it wins the 2019 Election.

Every worker in every workplace will be eligible to take ten days (non-accumulative) paid domestic violence leave each year.

We welcome Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten’s announcement that all workers in Australia should have this right.

Under the Fair Work Act as it stands now, only States can legislate leave rights for victims of crime, including domestic and family violence.

At present, the NSW election will come before the next Federal election.

A Foley Labor government will legislate this right to 10 days’ paid domestic violence leave for all NSW workers in both the private and public sectors, to ensure that all NSW workers will always be able to access this important right.

The domestic violence figures in Australia are astounding:

• On average, one woman a week is killed by her current or former partner;
• A woman killed by her partner is most likely to be killed in her home;
• Domestic and family violence is the principal cause of homelessness for women and their children;
• 1 in 4 children are exposed to domestic violence; and
• 2 in 5 assaults reported to police in 2016 were family or domestic violence-related.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley:

‘By increasing paid domestic violence leave to workers in the public sector and extending it to workers in the private sector, NSW Labor is offering practical help to people at the most vulnerable time of their lives.

‘Victims of domestic violence often still have to worry about the welfare of children, find a place to live, talk to police and hold down their jobs. This is an important measure to help – and the whole community needs to be involved.”

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Adam Searle:

“NSW Labor will deliver a minimum of 10 days paid domestic violence leave as a universal right for all workers.

“We know – from talking with women about their lived experience as well as research – that this is a crucial benefit for those who need space and time to escape domestic violence and get their lives back on track.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Jenny Aitchison:

“Being a victim of domestic violence impacts on an employee’s ability at work. Guaranteed leave from work is a major step in the first initial days of trauma.

“We know the ability to maintain housing depends on having a job. Employers need to play a role in ensuring women and children are not left impoverished and homeless.

“These policies ensure domestic violence is discussed in the workplace along with other issues such as confidentiality and safety for other workers.”