Men and women suffering from domestic violence would be able to access a week of paid leave under a plan to be announced by the Federal Opposition today.
Opposition employment spokesman Brendan O’Connor said domestic violence costs the economy billions of dollars each year, set to rise to an estimated $15.6 billion annual price tag within less than a decade.
Mr O’Connor told the ABC that if elected to Government in 2016, Labor would legislate five days of paid work leave for victims.
Casual workers would also be able to access five days of unpaid leave.
“That really is an important message,” he said.
“Not only will it provide material support for women who might find themselves in this awful predicament, but it also sends the message that political leaders and community leaders alike do not condone this behaviour.”
The proposals would see the paid domestic and family violence leave added to the National Employment Standards, bringing legislation into line with companies which have already introduced such measures.
Labor leader Bill Shorten praised companies Telstra and IKEA, among those which already have similar plans in place.
“These employers have paved the way and helped reduce the stigma that often accompanies domestic violence,” he said.
“Labor calls on the Turnbull Liberal government to support Labor’s commitment to domestic and family violence leave, which will be a pivotal part of people being able to remain in work as they strive for safety and justice.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday attended a Stand Up Against Violence towards Women event in Canberra, where he described such acts as “a crime that must be stamped out”.
Earlier this year, Mr Turnbull announced a $100 million package addressed at helping women and children affected by domestic and family violence.
Labor’s announcement coincides with White Ribbon Day.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.