Family and domestic violence: employers have critical role to play

WA Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk has called on more Western Australian employers to introduce special leave entitlements for people experiencing family and domestic violence.

The call comes as a report released by UN Women (National Committee Australia) entitled ‘Taking the first step: workplace responses to domestic and family violence’, outlines key ‘critical’ strategies that can be implemented by employers to support victims.

About two-thirds of women experiencing family and domestic violence are employed, making the workplace a key player in making a difference and supporting victims when they most need help.

There are several major companies in WA setting the benchmark. Bankwest originally introduced family and domestic violence provisions in 2014. This included up to 10 days per year of paid leave and was extended to all employees across the CBA Group (which includes Bankwest) in 2015.

In addition, Bankwest and Group employees supporting a family member who is experiencing family and domestic violence have access to five days per year of paid leave for the purpose of providing support. Prominent WA resource industry employer Rio Tinto also announced a leave entitlement to support Australian employees directly affected by family and domestic violence.

The WA Government is running its inaugural 16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women campaign. It began on November 25 2017, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and continues until December 10 2017, which is Human Rights Day.

Source: WA Government