Unions disappointed by ruling on paid domestic violence leave that puts workers at risk

Media release | 3 July 2017

The SDA, the Union for Workers in Retail, Fast Food & Warehousing is deeply disappointed by the Fair Work Commission’s ruling not to include paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave in Modern Awards.

SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer said that the decision was a step in the wrong direction and did not meet community expectations that workers experiencing domestic violence should be fully supported.

“Today’s Fair Work decision is a massive blow to workers experiencing family and domestic violence.”

“Two thirds of women reporting recent domestic violence are in paid employment. This decision puts their lives at risk during a time when they need financial support and job security the most.” 

Unions sought to introduce paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave into Modern Awards to ensure workers facing a violent or abusive situation could remain in paid employment without fear of losing their pay or their job.

“We need to change our current workplace laws because they are failing women.”

“One way to do that is by providing access to the time off they need to escape an abusive or violent situation, including attending court hearings or looking for a safe home to relocate children and pets.”

“This decision is yet another blow to Australian workers who have just had their pay cut as penalty rates have been slashed over the weekend,” Mr Dwyer said.

The case put forward by the unions through the Australian Council of Trade Unions called for ten days paid leave and an additional two days unpaid leave per year to be included in Modern Awards for workers experiencing family and domestic violence.

Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave would have directly benefited 6 million Australian workers. 

1.6 million Australian workers have access to paid Family and Domestic Violence through union-negotiated agreements but this case would have extended the leave to all workers.

Unions, including the SDA, will continue their efforts to ensure workers experiencing family and domestic violence receive important protections at work.

Media contact: Darren Rodrigo 0414783405

We’ve got you covered

For news and info from where you work, choose your industry.