Independent Education Union of Australia
IEU Speaks - November 2016
One woman each week dies as a result of domestic violence.
More than 400 000 women and men experience domestic violence each year.
65% of people who experience domestic violence are in the workforce.
In the month of November, IEU members will campaign with other union members across Australia for paid family and domestic violence leave.
Family and domestic violence is a widespread problem across Australia. It occurs in all parts of society, regardless of geographic location, socio-economic status, age, cultural and ethnic background or religious belief.
The evidence shows that one in six women and one in twenty men have experienced at least one incident of violence from a current or former partner since the age of 15. (Australian Bureau of Statistics. Personal Safety Survey. 2012)
Domestic Violence is a Workplace Issue
Many people, subjected to family and domestic violence, are in paid employment.
Family and domestic violence impacts on workplaces through increased absenteeism due to injury, sickness, stress, court attendances and other factors. It limits an employee’s ability to perform effectively, which might result in performance management, terminations and resignations.
Yet the workplace is often the only place where employees can feel safe, gain support or find out about community services that can help.
Through a stable and secure job, employees who are experiencing domestic violence can support themselves and their families financially and plan an exit strategy from the violence at home.
What is Family and Domestic Violence Leave?
Paid family and domestic violence leave and protections at work help victims of violence to maintain safe and secure employment.
Paid leave will allow an employee subjected to family and domestic violence to take an absence from work to attend appointments with medical, legal or financial professionals or to make arrangements to relocate or ensure their children’s protection, without suffering financial disadvantage.
This not only supports people subjected to current violence actions, but also facilitates safe escape from dangerous situations, thus helping to reduce or eliminate further violence.