The supposedly independent ombudsman for small business, Kate Carnell, says small business can’t afford to pay domestic violence leave.
And she clearly has the support of the Coalition government whose Employment Minister, Michaelia Cash, has rejected the proposal to include domestic violence leave in all modern awards.
According to Carnell, domestic violence should simply be one of the things you can take personal leave for.
But the union movement, which has been campaigning to make domestic violence leave a universal workplace entitlement, says that’s not good enough.
“Ms Carnell seems unaware that personal leave is in many cases inadequate for people experiencing domestic violence,” ACTU President Ged Kearney said, “as employees are not able to take personal leave to attend court appearances or to relocate for safety reasons”.
She also slammed arguments being put forward by Cash and Carnell that domestic violence leave would make employers less likely to employ women.
“Such comments hark back to the arguments made against equal pay, maternity leave, and indeed to the arguments made against every incremental advancement for women in the workplace,” she said.