The Australian Services Union has negotiated an Australian-first family violence leave entitlement with the Surf Coast Shire in Victoria, in a deal the ACTU heralds as a new template for all workplaces.
Surf Coast Shire in Victoria has agreed to the deal with the Australian Services Union, which will provide access to 20 days leave a year if an employee is experiencing family violence. The family violence leave clause aims to ensure the security of employment for employees subject to family violence, as well as providing workplace support to help them be safe at home and at work.
ACTU President Ged Kearney, applauded the initiative by the ASU and the shire and says that family violence costs the Australian economy more than $500 million in absenteeism, staff turnover and lost productivity.
“Violence perpetrated by an intimate partner is the leading contributor to death, disability and illness in Victorian women aged 15 to 44,” Ms Kearney said.
“It exacts a terrible toll on the victims, and is costly for employers.
“Anything we can do to help the victims of family violence should be welcomed.
“They need support in their workplace and the ability to take time off from work when they need to recover.
“This agreement by the ASU and the Surf Coast Shire is groundbreaking, and I would encourage other unions and employers to consider adopting a similar leave entitlement.”