“Beyond the profound personal and social toll of FDV, women experiencing or who have experienced FDV have a more disrupted work history; are on lower personal incomes; have had to change jobs frequently; and are more likely to be employed on a casual and part-time basis”. Fair Work Commission Decision 16 May 2022
On Monday, 16 May 2022, the Fair Work Commission made an in-principle decision that 2.66 million workers covered by Modern Awards should have access to 10 days paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave, with the terms to be filed by Friday, June 17 2022.
This is an historic win and a generational achievement for millions of women who have fought hard against the resistance of coalition federal governments.
Why is this important?
The majority of those impacted by domestic and family violence are women and already this year, 18 women have been killed by their current or previous partner.
It is estimated that moving to find a safe place for a woman in crisis, and her family can cost up to $20,000 and take more 140 hours. No worker should ever have to choose between their income and their safety.
Paid family and domestic violence leave can give a woman the time, support and job security she needs to escape and recover from an abusive relationship.
Access to paid family and domestic violence leave saves lives.
Employers everywhere have a key role to play in supporting those facing family and domestic violence. Yet a woman’s safety shouldn’t depend on her benevolent employer.
The FWC decision is a major step forward for workers’ rights in Australia, and has been won through working people campaigning against an intransigent Morrison Government (and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation which vote against paid family and domestic violence leave as recently as October 2021)
But more is needed.
We need this working right to be embedded in National Employment Standards as only one in four workers are covered by Modern Award provisions. The National Employment Standards (NES) covers the vast majority of Australian workers.
The IEU calls on the next Federal Government to extend paid family and domestic violence leave to all workers covered by the National Employment Standards (NES), ensuring the right covers an additional 8.44 million workers.