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Domestic violence leave: Workers allowed to claim 10 days paid leave under historic new laws

Millions of workers will be able to claim 10 days of paid domestic violence leave each year after ‘historic’ new laws pass

  • Millions of Aussie workers will soon be entitled to paid domestic violence leave 
  • Most employees will be eligible from February next year to 10 days paid leave
  • The bill was passed with support from both major parties in parliament
  • 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732), Lifeline 13 11 14 

Millions of Australian workers will soon be eligible for 10 days of paid domestic violence leave each year.

Most employees will get access to the entitlements from February, but small businesses will have an extra six months to adjust.

The changes cleared federal parliament on Thursday with support from all sides of both chambers.

‘To all those who have experienced and are experiencing family and domestic violence, you have asked us to take action and we are,’ Employment Minister Tony Burke told parliament.

‘This bill will not by itself solve the problem of family and domestic violence, but it does mean no employee in Australia will ever again be forced to make a choice between earning a wage and protecting themselves and their families.’

Union boss Michele O’Neil said the new laws were a historic win.

Australian workers will be eligible to claim paid domestic violence leave from as early as February next year

‘It cannot be understated just how important winning paid family and domestic violence leave in the national employment standard is,’ she said.

‘With one in four women having experienced some form of violence since the age of 15 by an intimate partner, Australia has a critical problem with women’s safety and gender equality.’

Ms O’Neil said unions would fight to extend the leave period but ’10 days is a very important start’.

The new laws come as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (above with Treasurer Jim Chalmers) revealed his government's first budget, with aims to progress gender equality in the workplace

The new laws come as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (above with Treasurer Jim Chalmers) revealed his government’s first budget, with aims to progress gender equality in the workplace

Casual workers will be eligible for the leave, while perpetrators will not be covered.

A review will be conducted next year to ensure the entitlement has been rolled out properly.

Frontline domestic violence worker Sam Parker said the entitlements would save lives.

‘Women shouldn’t have to choose between work and safety. Ten days paid leave offers people the opportunity to have financial security when they need it most,’ she said.

‘We know that having access to this leave assists in removing some of the barriers that women face when trying to leave an abusive relationship and we truly believe this will save lives.’

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said his government’s first budget included several measures to progress gender equality and boost women’s participation.

It included $1.7 billion over six years towards women’s safety and an expansion to paid parental leave to encourage parents to share caring duties more equally.

‘Women’s economic participation is something that doesn’t just benefit individual women. It doesn’t just benefit families. It benefits the entire nation,’ Mr Albanese said.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk