Media release: Rally for domestic violence leave

Thursday 13 October, 2016

Frontline community workers and trade unions activists will today rally at State Parliament, calling on the Premier Mike Baird to support the inclusion of domestic violence leave in the National Employment Standards ahead of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Summit on Reducing Violence against Women and their Children in late October. 

“On average, 184 incidents of domestic violence are reported in NSW every day. Yet there is no basic entitlement for a worker experiencing such violence to access leave,” said Mark Morey, Secretary of Unions NSW.

"Maintaining your financial independence by being able to keep your job means women have more choices and options when leaving domestic violence situations. To do this we need to ensure their job is secure.

"Our ask of the Premier is modest. We want him to champion the inclusion of domestic violence leave in the National Employment Standards and State Awards. This will both improve the workplace options for people leaving domestic violence situations while sending a strong message to Australian workplaces and workers,” Mr Morey said.

Natalie Lang, NSW/ACT Secretary of Australian Services Union said the union movement's claim for 10 days paid domestic violence leave is supported by frontline workers in the community sector and has the backing of The Australian Law Reform Commission, the Victorian Royal Commission into family violence, The Australian Human Rights Commission and the Victorian Government.

“The union movement has already negotiated for over 1.6 million workers to have access to paid domestic violence leave. However domestic violence leave shouldn’t have to be negotiated, it should be universal” Ms. Lang said.

“ASU members, the frontline workers in the community sector, see firsthand the impact domestic violence has on women and families. Frontline workers know that universal paid domestic violence leave will save lives,” Ms Lang said.

“We hope that no worker ever has to access domestic violence leave, but she must have the right if she needs to,” Ms Lang said.

The rally is this Thursday 12.00 noon at Hospital Rd, behind NSW Parliament House. Speakers include frontline community workers, Sharan Burrow, the leader of the International Trade Union Confederation, Unions NSW Secretary Mark Morey, ASU NSW/ACT Secretary Natalie Lang. 

Further information:  Saoirse Connolly 0437 048 169