Labor is committed to addressing the national disgrace that is family and domestic violence.
Intimate partner violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and ill-health in Australian women aged 15-44. Over 12 months, on average, one woman is killed every week as a result of intimate partner violence.
The number of women affected by domestic and family violence negatively impacts business productivity across Australia.
The Department of Social Services reports that violence against women and their children cost the Australian economy an estimated $13.6 billion in 2009. Without appropriate action to address violence against women and their children, an estimated three-quarters of a million Australian women will experience and report violence in the period of 2021-22, costing the Australian economy an estimated $15.6 billion.
That is why a Shorten Labor Government will provide for five days paid domestic and family violence leave in the National Employment Standards.
The National Employment Standards provide statutory minimum conditions for all employees – women and men – covered by the national workplace relations system.
Labor’s plan is a part of the solution to reduce the costs of domestic and family violence to individuals suffering domestic violence, as well as businesses and the Australian economy.
Those who have access to the leave entitlement will retain their job and income, which gives women choice, reduces isolation, and helps them to care for their children and provides them with a safe home environment.
Providing those impacted by domestic violence with time to attend court appearances and related appointments, to seek legal advice and make relocation arrangements will contribute to employees returning to work and contributing to business productivity.
Labor will provide the necessary educational support to employers, particularly small businesses, to implement the mandatory arrangements.
Labor believes businesses, which already offer a variety of forms of leave, including sick leave, annual leave, and long service leave, will see a reduction in lost revenue associated with absenteeism and decreased productivity.
It is vital for people who have experienced family and domestic violence that their workplace understands the impact violence has on their lives, and for leave arrangements to be handled sensitively and confidentially, which will happen as part of Labor’s plan.