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When will the Liberals act on domestic violence leave instead of just talking about it?



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THE HON BRENDAN O’CONNOR MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND WORKPLACE RELATIONS MEMBER FOR GORTON

THE HON LINDA BURNEY SHADOW MINISTER FOR HUMAN SERVICES SHADOW MINISTER FOR PREVENTING FAMILY VIOLENCE ACTING SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES

MEMBER FOR BARTON

WHEN WILL TURNBULL AND LIBERALS ACT ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LEAVE INSTEAD OF JUST TALKING ABOUT IT?

The Turnbull government’s lack of commitment to domestic and family violence leave has been exposed by their complete failure to actually do anything to advance its availability to Australian workers.

Labor has committed to introducing 10 days paid domestic violence leave into the National Employment Standards. We have called on the Liberals to join us to provide this crucial workplace right to all Australian workers. They have consistently failed to answer our call.

Today, media outlets are reporting claims by the junior Minister Craig Laundy that the government will introduce legislation to provide for five days unpaid domestic and family violence leave “as soon as possible”.

These claims are a farce.

More than four months ago Laundy put out a late night press release saying the government would look at legislating 5 days unpaid domestic and family violence leave.

There have been six Parliamentary sitting weeks since then - 20 sitting days in which the legislation could have been introduced if the junior Minister really wanted to do it “as soon as possible”.

Unfortunately, it is abundantly clear that domestic and family violence leave is not a priority for this government. They have had to be dragged to supporting unpaid domestic and family violence leave, and fall well short of the necessary commitment to 10 days paid leave.

This is because the truth is that the Liberals see domestic violence leave as nothing more than a cost to business. They have even argued, unbelieveably, that it will make women less attractive to employers.

Demonstrating how out of touch they are, in 2016 the Turnbull government prevented approximately 30 public service departments (including the Prime Minister’s), from providing for paid family violence leave in their enterprise agreements.

State governments and many private sector employers already provide paid family violence leave, including Carlton & United Breweries, Telstra, NAB, Virgin Australia, IKEA and Qantas. These employers have paved the way and helped reduce the stigma that often accompanies domestic violence. So too have Australia’s unions, campaigning for paid domestic and family violence leave over many years, which has led to subsequent coverage in Australian workplaces.

The complexity of family violence requires a strategic approach by all levels of government, business, and the community.

Labor calls on Malcolm Turnbull and his Liberals to adopt Labor’s commitment to 10 days paid domestic and family violence leave, and to bring legislation forward next week to introduced 10 days paid leave into the NES. Nothing less will do.

If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline:

*** If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000” ***

WEDNESDAY, 8 AUGUST 2018

MEDIA CONTACT: ERIN SMITH 0458 950 010