Hundreds of community and union members rallied on Tuesday at State Parliament calling on the NSW Premier Mike Baird to support the inclusion of domestic violence leave in the National Employment Standards (NES).
The calls come ahead of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Summit on Reducing Violence against Women and their Children later this month.
“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,” Secretary of Unions NSW Mark Morey told the crowd.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimate around two thirds of women experiencing domestic violence are in the workforce.
NSW/ACT Secretary of Australian Services Union said the union movement has been successful in negotiating over 1.6 million workers’ access to paid domestic violence leave.
“Paid domestic violence leave should not be something we have to negotiate for,” said CEO of Professionals Australia, Chris Walton.
“Universal paid domestic violence leave will have great impacts not only on victims of domestic violence but their families as well.”
At the rally Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation congratulated the Australian union movement for leading the world on paid domestic violence leave but said more must be done to support women and children living with violence.
Opposition Leader Luke Foley committed a future Labor Government to doubling paid domestic violence from five days to ten while the Premier failed to match the commitment when asked in Parliament.