Hunter Workers Rally for “5 Cents a Day” Paid DV Leave (Media Release)

9 Dec 2021

This Friday, 10th December, 12 pm, Hunter Workers will be holding a rally at Civic Park calling for 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave to be included in the National Employment Standards.

Sharon Claydon, Federal MP for Newcastle, will be speaking at the rally, in addition to Leanne Holmes, of the Hunter Workers Women’s Committee; and Teanile Grant, community sector worker.

Rachel Bond, Project Officer of the UoN Gender Research Network, will be conducting a vigil to remember women murdered in 2021.

One in four Australian women have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or former partner, and approximately two-thirds of women experiencing domestic violence are in paid employment.

Providing victims of domestic violence paid DV leave allows victims to maintain income and stability, thereby greatly increasing the chance of a successful escape from a violent relationship.

Over the pandemic, millions of Australians shifted to remote working and brought their workplaces into their homes. Now more than ever, domestic violence is a workplace health and safety issue that is necessary for employers to address and act accordingly.

The government urgently needs to include 10 days paid DV leave in the National Employment Standards to ensure this potentially lifesaving leave entitlement is available to all working people.

Analysis from the Centre for Future Work at the Australia Institute has found the average cost of extending access to 10 days paid Family and Domestic Violence (FDV) leave across the workforce would average less than five cents per worker, per working day.

Additionally, it’s expected that the cost to employers will be largely or completely offset by benefits including reduced turnover and improved productivity.

Paid DV leave has already been implemented by 1 in 3 employers, with an estimated 1.6 million Australian workers having access to the provision.

Friday’s rally falls on both International Human Rights Day and the last day of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence.

Quotes by Leanne Holmes, Hunter Workers Women Committee:

“Today we’re rallying on International Human Rights Day for an employment provision that should be a universal right for working people.

Too often survivors of domestic violence lose their jobs in the process of escaping because they do not have sufficient leave, at a time when it is more vital than ever they maintain their income and stability. This is unacceptable.

If we are to successfully end the epidemic of violence against women in this country, we all need to play our part in supporting survivors. This includes employers. For just 5 cents per day, per worker, we can make an enormous positive impact than will save countless lives.

Implementing paid domestic violence leave in the National Employment Standards sends a powerful message that women’s safety is everyone’s responsibility.

At a time where more people are working from home than ever, it is imperative that the government instates 10 days paid DV leave.”