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2016-04-01

domestic violence

Domestic violence: a union issue

The release of the report of the Victorian government’s Royal Commission into Family Violence has again highlighted the importance of this issue to working Australians  - and so for the union movement as well. 

The report, tabled Wednesday 30 March, specifically recognises the workplace as a key area where interventions need to be made, both to address the causes of family violence and to provide support for those affected by it. 

Workplaces, says the Commission, are important “because the effects of violence reach into workplaces and because attitudes and cultures that prevail in workplaces can influence the level to which violence against women is supported or condoned.” 

The Commission has also recognised the importance of measures such as paid domestic violence leave, which unions are arguing should be a universal entitlement guaranteed by the award system. 

“Offering paid domestic violence leave is the right thing to do,” ACTU President Ged Kearney said.

“Australian unions call on all employer groups to recognise the Royal Commission report and support paid domestic violence leave and embrace the positive role of the workplace in supporting employees who are experiencing domestic violence leave.” 

The CWU has recently been successful in securing an entitlement of up to 10 days paid domestic violence leave in the Telstra EA and an agreement that domestic violence constitutes grounds for paid leave from Optus.

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