This is why we don’t just wait for paid family and domestic violence leave:
• 97% of people living with violence are women and children
• 65% of people who experience domestic violence are in the workforce
• One woman each week dies as a result of domestic violence.
Family and domestic violence is more than just statistics. It is about the lives of women and children. It is about the immediate and future safety of women and children.
It is much easier to survive and escape violence if you have money.
Women who are working are more able to survive a violent home life. They have the financial means to escape a violent situation.
Work can provide women with space where they know they are safe. It allows them to talk with others and come to an understanding that there is an escape from the violence.
Many women are forced out of paid work because of violence.
Many women resign, or terminated from their jobs, because they need to take time off work to deal with injuries to themselves or to their children. They need time to attend appointments with counsellors, police, or real estate agents. They may not be able to attend work as they have been prevented from leaving the house by the perpetrator of violence.
Women are unable to undertake the activities associated with making safe arrangements for themselves and their children when their financial security is under threat.
Paid family and domestic violence leave is needed.
Paid family and domestic violence leave is essential for working women who are living with violence; while they are living with violence; at the time of preparing to leave a violent home life; at the time of escape from a violent home life and after a woman has left a violent home life.
IEU members understand why paid domestic violence leave is needed.
It is a fact that some IEU members have achieved specified industrial provisions within their collective agreement which details the care and practical support, including paid leave, available to members experiencing family and domestic violence.
In some cases, these collective agreements even include support to those employees who support a person who is experiencing domestic violence.
These collective agreement provisions have been successfully achieved through strong membership activism when negotiating working conditions.
However, the sad reality is that there remains a substantial number of staff in non government schools and in other workplaces across Australia, who do not have access to paid family and domestic violence leave. More needs to be done.
It is time to change the rules of work.
We need strong, legislative provisions for paid family and domestic violence leave, so that all workers who are experiencing violence in their home life can be protected.
Paid family and domestic violence leave must be included in the National Employment Standards.
The National Employment Standards are the minimum employment entitlements that must be provided to all employees.
The National Employment Standards (NES) covers all employees in national workplaces, regardless of any award or enterprise agreement or employment contract.
No workplace can exclude an NES condition.
It is time to tell our political leaders that 10 days paid domestic violence leave is vital and must form part of the National Employment Standards.
IEU members are asked to sign the petition below calling for the inclusion of 10 days paid domestic violence leave into the National Employment Standards.