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Victoria Leads The Way On Paid Family Violence Leave

11 April 2022

The introduction of paid family violence leave in Victorian government jobs should lead the way for the leave to be implemented in the private sector, according to the Andrews Labor Government.

The Labor Government is calling for at least 10 days’ paid family violence leave for ongoing employees to support women’s safety and financial security as part of the Fair Work Commission's Family and Domestic Violence Leave Review.

The submission to the Fair Work Commission provides new details about the take-up of Victoria's paid entitlements.

An average of 0.3 per cent of Victorian public sector employees across three of the largest departments accessed paid family violence leave in the past year.

Family violence leave has been included in all Victorian public sector enterprise agreements since 2015, meaning public sector employees including nurses and teachers have access to 20 days of paid family violence leave, or unpaid family violence leave for casual employees.

Paid family violence leave can enable employees to take time away from work to attend to urgent matters, seek safe housing, attend medical appointments, court hearings or police stations, or organise care and school arrangements for their children, while maintaining employment and not exhausting their other forms of leave.

Employment and economic security can provide a crucial pathway out of violent relationships. The Labor Government argues that family violence leave should be introduced in modern awards, supported by an education campaign that promotes the benefits of paid leave to both the workplace and the affected employees.

Family violence leave in the Victorian Public Service is straight forward to access and support can be provided through a manager, human resources, union representative, or a specially trained family violence contact in the workplace.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Industrial Relations Tim Pallas

Paid family violence leave provides practical, immediate support to help victims of family violence.”

“It’s been an integral support for women in public sector roles in Victoria since 2015 and common sense and decency says that it should be extended to all workers.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Gabrielle Williams

“We know that family violence has significant and far-reaching consequences - paid family violence leave means victim survivors can maintain stability and support at work, in what can be a time of great turmoil and trauma.”

“Paid family violence leave sends an important message that victim survivors are not to blame, and they have the support of their employer to recover safely.”

Reviewed 11 April 2022

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