ACTU wants domestic violence leave in modern awards

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ACTU wants domestic violence leave in modern awards

The ACTU is seeking 10 days paid domestic violence leave for permanent staff and 10 days unpaid leave for casuals to be included in all awards, as part of its submission to the Fair Work Commission’s review of modern awards, being lodged today.

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The ACTU is seeking 10 days paid domestic violence leave for permanent staff and 10 days unpaid leave for casuals to be included in all awards, as part of its submission to the Fair Work Commission’s review of modern awards, being lodged today.

According to ACTU president Ged Kearney, paid domestic violence leave is designed to support victims of domestic violence and help them to keep their job.

Domestic violence leave is a relatively recent occurrence in Australian employment provisions, appearing so far only in enterprise agreements.

In July last year, Swinburne University of Technology lodged a landmark agreement allowing employees experiencing domestic violence up to five days of paid leave a year. McDonald’s and Westpac also included domestic violence leave in their enterprise agreements last year.

Kearney said one in three Australian women experience physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner: “It is a systemic issue involving a wide range of social, economic and cultural factors that must be addressed in the public sphere – including workplaces.

“Having access to domestic violence leave means victims have time to attend court appearances and related appointments, seek legal advice and make relocation arrangements.

The ACTU claim also includes the right to request a change in working arrangements, such as start and finish times.

Earlier this month the ACTU announced its submission to the modern award review will include a claim for casual workers to have the right to become permanent and access benefits such as annual leave and sick leave. It will also be opposing employer submissions for modern awards to allow employees to cash out annual leave.
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