Teachers, nurses, police and other NSW public servants will get 10 days of paid domestic and family violence leave each year under a new government policy.
NSW Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Pru Goward on Thursday said the new entitlement, which will be in place from January 1, would ensure survivors of domestic violence had more resources and time to rebuild their lives.
It will be available to all public sector employees, including teachers, nurses and police.
Under current laws, government staff must exhaust all other leave before they are entitled to five days “special leave”, which Ms Goward said wasn’t good enough.
Under the new system, victims will be able to use the 10 days without having to exhaust their other options.
“Employees may now use domestic violence leave to seek safe housing; attend related medical and legal appointments or organise alternative care and schooling arrangements for their children and will not have to exhaust all other forms of leave beforehand,” Ms Goward said.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the new system acknowledges the financial burden domestic violence can have on victims.
While unable to specify the exact cost, Ms Goward said it would be “modest” and be absorbed by each department.
“The cost of course will reflect its usage,” Ms Goward told reporters.
“This is a great beginning for our staff.”
Unions NSW secretary Mark Morey welcomed the announcement, but pointed out NSW was the last state government to introduce paid domestic violence leave for employees.