Friday 25 November is International day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Your union has long been at the forefront of fighting for stronger support mechanisms for workers to escape volatile family and dangerous domestic situations.
The PSA and its sister federal union the Community and Public Sector Union (State Public Sector Federation Group) were the first union to secure, in a collective agreement, the right for paid Domestic Violence Leave at the University of NSW in 2011.
This entitlement has since been increased in several institutions and public sector agencies and was eventually implemented in the Crown Employees Conditions Award as five days Family and Domestic Violence (FDV) leave.
In 2018 the union made representations to the Government which had this extended to 10 days paid leave through the Premier’s Public Service Determination 2018-03 Support for Employees Experiencing FDV.
This year, Federal Parliament passed a bill that enshrined 10 days paid FDV Leave as a workplace right for every worker in Australia in the National Employment Standards. This would not have come about without the previous decade of campaigning by the union movement and activists.
Further advocacy from your union led to the announcement in September this year that the NSW Government has extended family and domestic violence leave provisions to 20 days paid leave per calendar year from 1 January 2023, including casual workers.
There is still much work to be done to make women safer from violence, and the union has made recommendations to the government for better support services, better funding for short-term accommodation and five days supporter leave for people supporting a family or friend through domestic and family violence. We also continue to advocate for better ways to support those accessing the leave such as protection of personal information and requirements to provide evidence.
If you or someone you know, you can access a wide range of information and links to services that can provide you support on the PSA website: Domestic Violence – Public Service Association.