Paid Domestic and Family Violence Leave Must be a Priority for Mr Turnbull

27 March 2018

With Tanya Plibersek MP & Brendan O'Connor MP

A workplace response to domestic and family violence should be a priority for Malcolm Turnbull and his Liberals, not an afterthought.

Labor has been talking about a workplace response to domestic violence for years now. Unfortunately, the Liberals are only just coming to the table and their response is not good enough.

Mr Turnbull and his Liberals do not support introducing paid domestic violence leave into the NES. They see domestic violence leave as a cost to business and, in a terrifying display of how out of touch they are, argue that it will make women less attractive to employers.

In fact in 2016, the Federal Government applied the bargaining policy to prevent public service enterprise agreements in approximately 30 departments (including the Prime Minister’s) providing for paid family violence leave. Labor understands that for victims of domestic violence, the combined stress of seeking legal advice and accessing counselling services and medical treatment should not be compounded by the fear of losing their job or the financial disadvantage of going without pay. 

That is why if elected we will legislate for ten days paid domestic and family violence leave in the National Employment Standards (NES).

Labor is committed to making domestic and family violence leave a universal workplace right, to further support those suffering in our community.

Many employers already provide paid family violence leave, including Medicare, CUB, Telstra, NAB, Virgin Australia, IKEA and Qantas.

These employers have paved the way and helped reduce the stigma that often accompanies domestic violence.

Labor also acknowledges the contribution Australia’s unions have made in advocating for paid domestic and family violence leave.

The complexity of family violence requires a strategic approach by all levels of government, business, and the community.

Labor calls on Malcolm Turnbull and his Liberals to do better and support Labor’s commitment to paid 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.

***If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit In an emergency, call 000***