It's time for a national approach to domestic violence leave

Published Thursday, 08 December, 2016 at 09:15 AM

Premier and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk


Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has urged all Australian Governments to legislate to provide paid leave for those affected by domestic and family violence.

Speaking ahead of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting in Canberra tomorrow, the Premier said Queensland was the first State with legislated domestic and family violence leave arrangements.

"I raised the idea of a National Employment Standard for domestic and family violence leave at the COAG National Summit to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children in Brisbane in October," she said.

"Since then, my Government has secured our Parliament's support to legislate for domestic and family violence leave."

"Family and domestic violence is a national issue and we need a national approach.  The work of so many, including the courageous leadership of former Australian of the Year Rosie Batty, has ensured there is a spotlight on these issues."

“I would like to see family and domestic violence leave rolled out across the country as a National Employment Standard.”

Queensland’s legislation provides for:

•             An employee, other than a casual employee, to up to 10 days of domestic and family violence leave per year on full pay;

•             A long-term casual employee to a maximum of 10 days of unpaid domestic and family violence leave per year.  A short-term casual employee is entitled to a maximum of 2 days of unpaid domestic and family violence leave per year;

•             The leave may be used at any time during the year. The leave does not accumulate from year to year;

•             There is no minimum amount of leave;

•             There is no qualifying period of employment that must be worked before an employee is eligible for leave; and

•             The employer has discretion to require an employee to provide evidence in support of an application of leave, but also recognises information disclosed in support of application may be of sensitive nature and an employer should not disclose information.

“As an employer of more than 200,000 Queenslanders,  my Government has chosen to lead by example,” the Premier said.

“Queensland Government employees experiencing domestic violence will now be offered 10 days of paid leave per year to attend medical, legal and counselling appointments and arrange alternative accommodation and child care assistance."

“We have introduced a workplace support package for our employees affected by domestic and family violence."

“It includes flexible working arrangements, a minimum of 10 days of paid leave, workplace safety adjustments, and confidential counselling."

Media contact: Kirby Anderson (Premier's office) 0417 263 791