Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters is today signing a pledge to support employees having access to 10 days paid domestic and family violence leave in the national employment standards.
Local workers from Haven Home Safe, City of Greater Bendigo and The Centre for Non-Violence met with Ms Chesters to sign the pledge.
The pledge is part of Labor’s commitment to make domestic and family violence leave a universal workplace right.
“During the last week of Parliament Bill Shorten and Labor announced that a Shorten Labor Government will legislate for ten days paid domestic and family violence leave in the National Employment Standards (NES).
“I’ve listened to Central Victorian victims, frontline workers, business, and organisations that deal daily with domestic violence in the Bendigo electorate. Their clear message is that people who have experienced domestic violence need more support in the workplace.
“The combined stress of seeking legal advice, accessing counselling services and medical treatment should not be compounded by fear of losing your job or the financial disadvantage of going without pay,” said Ms Chesters.
Tim Sullivan from the community services sector explains how financial independence can make it easier for women who want to leave abusive relationships.
“It’s easier to walk away when you don’t have to worry about whether you’ll be able to afford rent or whether you’ll be able to feed the kids, “said Mr Sullivan.
The ABS estimates that around two out of every three women who experience domestic violence are in the workforce.
“For businesses, including this leave as a workplace right will prevent loss of productivity, increase employee retention and reduce unpredictable absenteeism.
“Local organisations and businesses are invited to also sign the pledge, this is a chance for Central Victoria to stand together and loudly say to the Liberal Government ‘We Won’t Wait!’
“We call on Turnbull and his Liberal MP’s and Senators to sign the pledge to support Labor’s commitment to domestic and family violence leave, which will be a pivotal part of people being able to remain in work and get the help they need,” said Ms Chesters.