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Ai Group comment: Family and Domestic Violence Leave Bill

"The Government's Family and Domestic Violence Leave Bill is a sensible legislative change that would extend the 5-day unpaid domestic violence leave entitlement which the Fair Work Commission (FWC) recently incorporated into awards, to all employees. The Bill contains provisions which are closely aligned with those in the FWC's model award clause. This is important to avoid confusion and uncertainty," Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said today.

"No doubt the unions will argue that the Bill should reflect the 10-day paid leave entitlement that they pursued in the FWC case, but this entitlement was rejected by the independent Fair Work Commission. In the case, the unions were unable to provide any credible argument for where they came up with their claim for 10 days of paid leave. The evidence in the case was that employees who are experiencing domestic violence and take leave, on average take 2-3 days of leave.

"Domestic violence is a community problem and the whole community has a role to play in addressing it. Many businesses are implementing policies to assist employees impacted by domestic violence.

"Employers have different capacities to provide support to employees who are experiencing domestic violence. The Bill strikes an appropriate balance, as does the model award clause developed by the FWC," Mr Willox said.

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