Samantha Schulte, a survivor of domestic violence and survivor-advocate with Full Stop Australia, has said paid domestic violence leave could be the huge difference for employees who are experiencing domestic violence.
“When you’re a victim of domestic violence, trying to seek help is a full-time job. It’s a full-time job to be a survivor. It’s a full-time job being a parent,” Ms Schulte said.
“This is huge step in the right direction by the Federal Government for employees surviving or who have survived domestic and family violence.”
Full Stop Australia welcomes the announcement by the Federal Government to introduce legislation in Parliament to ensure that women escaping violence can access paid 10 days domestic violence leave.
In the first week of Parliament, the Federal Government has signaled their intention to introduce legislation to ensure workers can access 10 days paid domestic and family violence leave.
This legislation will ensure the millions of workers, including casual workers, will be eligible to access 10 days paid domestic and family violence leave.
Full Stop Australia Chief Executive Officer, Hayley Foster, said this legislation will be a “game-changer” for victim-survivors of domestic and family violence stuck in an unsafe situation at home whilst maintaining critical social and economic support.
“We congratulate the Federal Government for making women’s safety a priority by introducing this landmark legislation in the first week of Parliament sitting,” Ms Foster said.
“This is a recognition of the incredible cost domestic and family violence has on individuals, workplaces and the economy – over $26 billion each year mostly borne by victim-survivors and their employers.”
“Escaping from a domestic violence situation is a huge ordeal; it often involves health, housing and legal appointments, as well as court appearances, all of which are only available during business hours.”
“A survivor of domestic abuse shouldn’t have to choose between escaping violence and losing their job.”
“Family violence is a workplace issue and providing adequate Family and Domestic Violence leave is crucial for ensuring women can leave violent relationships and maintain their employment and economic security.”
Whilst welcoming the legislation, Ms Schulte said that it is vital employers receive appropriate training to support their employees in accessing these new entitlements.
“It is vital employers be trained or seek training on how to approach domestic violence leave in a supportive way, recognising that this could be the first time a survivor seeks supports or discloses domestic violence” Ms Schulte said.
Ms Foster said leading employers are already looking at their policies and procedures when it comes to supporting their employees impacted by domestic, family and sexual violence, and upskilling first responders.