The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) commends the Albanese Government on new Legislation which gives millions of Australian workers access to 10-days’ of paid family and domestic violence (FDV) leave.
The Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2022 is the result of years of tireless advocacy and campaigning by the ANMF, the ACTU and the broader union movement, on behalf of our predominantly-female workforce.
The new national workplace law gives all workers who are covered by the National Employment Standards access to essential financial support to escape violent and abusive relationships.
“Domestic violence is the scourge of our society – and can never be tolerated,” ANMF Federal Assistant Secretary Lori-Anne Sharp said today.
“As we know, sadly, on average, one woman is killed by a partner, former partner or a family member every 10 days in Australia. And as the Fair Work Commission pointed out in its findings on FDV earlier this year, the COVID-pandemic ‘has seen an increase in the prevalence of FDV’.
“It’s why, as a nation, we must do everything we can to not only stop FDV, but offer and provide the very best support to victims in the community who find themselves in this terrifying situation.
“The ANMF has been campaigning for paid FDV leave for many years, as it will undoubtedly save womens’ lives. It will allow those individuals who find themselves in the unfortunate situation of experiencing FDV the chance to escape an abusive relationship and be entitled to paid leave, keeping them in employment and giving them some financial security to start rebuilding their lives.
“Nurses and midwives are too often at the coalface of the FDV crisis in this country, identifying and caring for women who are experiencing abuse and violence – and it’s why this entitlement is a significant gain for the ANMF and its members.”
Ms Sharp said the ANMF congratulated the Albanese Government for recognising the critical need for universal paid FDV leave, as recommended by the Fair Work Commission in May this year, after the previous Government had repeatedly opposed it.