Unions push for nation to follow Qld company’s domestic violence stance

Queensland unions congratulate and highlight a major Queensland company’s efforts in a national campaign to enshrine minimum family and domestic leave entitlements into national employment standards.

Queensland Council of Unions General Secretary Ros McLennan said the federal government must not ignore the important role of a supportive employer for those affected by family and domestic violence.

“Domestic violence can impact on the workplace and the employment relationship through increased absenteeism due to injury, sickness, stress, court attendance and other factors.

“It can limit a worker’s ability to perform effectively, which may result in performance management issues, terminations and forced resignations.”

“Domestic and family violence is a massive social and workplace issue. The ‘seven star’ domestic leave provisions at Energy Queensland mean that if employees need help, they can speak up and access support,” Ms McLennan said.

Energy Queensland provides a minimum 10 days paid domestic and family violence leave where required. The leave can be accessed without the need to first utilise personal leave.

The company has been recognised as a leader in providing a Domestic and Family Violence Leave policy to support employees.

Today’s event is part of a nationwide campaign to provide universal access to paid domestic violence leave by including it in the National Employment Standards.

The campaign will complement all additional union approaches to winning paid domestic violence leave through awards, enterprise agreements and workplace policies.

This event, held as part of a nationally co-ordinated day of action, seeks to help people experiencing family violence get the help they need and to challenge the idea that family violence is a private matter.

Ms McLennan commended strong collaboration between employees through their union, together with Energy Queensland in adopting the leave arrangements.

“We are seeking to establish the principle that employers have a role to play, and can help move the debate in Australia forward and achieve real structural change on this issue.”

“Sadly the federal Coalition government – particularly Minister for Women and Minister for Employment Michaelia Cash – has refused to engage with this this vital issue, ignoring calls to enter into the discussion about DV leave in the National Employment Standards,” she said.

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