Millions of Australian workers will be granted access to paid domestic violence leave following a landmark decision by the workplace tribunal.
In a provisional decision, the full bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) ruled that workers should be able to access 10 days of family and domestic violence (FDV) leave every year at their base rate of pay, reports Xinhua news agency.
“Family and domestic violence is a ubiquitous and persistent social problem. While men can, and do, experience FDV, such violence disproportionately affects women. It is a gendered phenomenon,” the ruling said.
Currently, all Australian workers are entitled to five days of unpaid FDV leave every year under the National Employment Standards (NES).
The FWC decision will immediately affect 2.6 million Australians employed under modern awards, which provides entitlements on top of the NES, and likely set a precedent for all workers.
According to data the FWC considered when making its decision, one in four Australian women and one in 13 men will experience FDV from the age of 15, costing the economy billions of dollars in lost productivity.
“In comparison to women with no experience of FDV, women experiencing or who have experienced FDV have a more disrupted work history, are on lower personal incomes, have had to change jobs frequently, and are more likely to be employed on a casual and part-time basis,” it said.