Domestic and family violence is a workplace issue
Domestic and family violence (DFV) has a dramatic and compounding impact on our community, our families, colleagues, friends and the children we teach. It can impact a person’s safety, wellbeing, attendance, and performance at work.
Having adopted the 140 recommendations of the Not Now, Not Ever report, the Queensland Government, as the largest employer in the state, is now working towards ending DFV through:
- violence prevention – The Respectful Relationships program (http://education.qld.gov.au/parents/information/respectful-relationships/index.html)
- building a culture of respect and gender equity
- supporting affected employees with a minimum of 10 days paid DFV leave, flexible work arrangements, reasonable workplace adjustments, and counselling through its employee assistance programs (EAP):
The Queensland Government was the first in Australia to legislate DFV support for workers when the Queensland Industrial Relations Act 2016 passed through Parliament.
Your Union is proud to join with other Australian unions in calling on the federal government to ensure that people experiencing DFV can maintain employment security and access the support they need to keep them at work.
The ACTU is seeking improvements to the National Employment Standards through a submission to the Fair Work Commission. The claim includes 10 days paid leave per year and an additional two days unpaid leave per occasion. The new entitlement will make it easier for survivors of family and domestic violence to remain in paid employment and manage stressful and time consuming tasks like finding a new home and attending court. A decision in the case is expected to be handed down in the first half of 2017.
Research into workplaces that already have family and domestic violence leave in place shows that it has significant benefits for the employees affected by domestic violence, their employers and workplaces.
As part of a national campaign, the QTU supported a national day of action on the 30 November asking members to speak out about DFV at their workplace, host a morning tea or lunch and email Senator Michaelia Cash to let her know they believe DFV leave should be part of the national employment standards. A QTU DFV poster, “Domestic Violence is a workplace issue”, is available at www.qtu.asn.au/dvwi-poster
The ACTU has launched a short film highlighting the trauma and lack of rights that people experiencing family or domestic violence face as they try to manage work during such a challenging time in their lives. The film clearly demonstrates the overwhelming benefits offered by paid leave and the positive impact it can have on both workers and employers. View the film at https://www.facebook.com/AustralianUnions/videos/1331957206902899
If you are in immediate danger, phone the police on triple zero (000). For help and advice, call: DVConnect Womensline 1800 811 811 - 24 hours, 7 days a week
Penny Spalding Assistant Secretary - Women's and Social Welfare Issues
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 122 No 1, 10 February 2017, p16
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