Release type: Media Release


Government congratulates employer on paid leave for domestic violence


The Hon Bill Shorten MP
Minister for Education
Minister for Workplace Relations

Minister for Workplace Relations Bill Shorten today welcomed the inclusion of an entitlement to paid leave for employees suffering from domestic violence in a new enterprise agreement.

Under the agreement struck by Victoria's Swinburne University and the National Tertiary Education Union, 2872 staff will for the first time have access to additional paid leave of five days a year.

The deal offers greater support to employees suffering domestic violence acknowledges the disturbing prevalence in our community and the need for women in particular to have the financial security of work in such difficult circumstances.

The Minister said it was everyone’s responsibility, but particularly men, to stand up to violence and where ever we can, support those suffering the consequences of such despicable acts.

As reported in The Australian newspaper, the five days’ paid leave could be used to attend medical appointments, legal proceedings or to seek new accommodation.

The agreement follows the Government’s recent changes to the Fair Work Act which extended the right to request flexible work arrangements to those suffering domestic violence.

The Fair Work Act provides a safety net for all employees, including the right to request flexible work arrangements in relation to domestic violence.

It is pleasing to see employers like Swinburne University, working with the National Tertiary Education Union, going beyond that safety net with an entitlement like paid leave for their employees dealing with domestic violence.

Figures revealed recently by the Victorian Police Commissioner show that around half of all assaults in Victoria happen in homes.

Family violence has hit record levels in Victoria, with 50,382 family violence calls to police last year, twelve Victorians - almost all of them women - were killed and more than 16,000 assaults recorded in the home.