A massive win: New Zealand brings in paid domestic violence leave

0
4

New Zealand has passed legalisation that grants victims of domestic violence 10 days paid leave to enable them to leave their partners, find new homes, and secure themselves and their kids.

MPs applauded and cheered as the bill passed Wednesday night with 63 votes to 57. It is the result of seven long years of work by Green MP Jan Logie, who worked in a woman’s refuge before she turned to politics.

 

 

Logie said that ” Part of this initiative is getting a whole-of-society response. We don’t just leave it to police but realise we all have a role in helping victims. It is also about changing the cultural norms and saying ‘we all have a stake in this and it is not OK.”

“Domestic violence doesn’t respect that split between work and life. A huge amount of research tells us a large number of abusive partners bring the violence into the workplace, Be that by stalking their partner, by constant emails or phone calls or threatening them or their workmates. And some of that is about trying to break their attachment to their job to get them fired or get them to quit so they are more dependent on their partner. It is very common.” Logie said.

New Zealand has some of the highest rates of domestic violence in the developed world. With one new case of domestic violence every four minutes. Family violence is evaluated to cost the nation from $4.1bn and $7bn every year.

The new law will become effective in April 2019 and stipulates that any individual who experiences abusive behaviour at home will qualify for 10 days paid leave from work, which will be on top of standard holiday and sick leave.

Domestic violence victims don’t need to give proof of their conditions, and will qualify for flexible work conditions to ensure their safety, such as changing their location changing their email addresses and phone numbers from the businesses website and other marketing material.

Family violence groups in New Zealand welcomed the new legislation, saying it was the beginning of people realising that tackling the problem was part of a broader shift to improving employee wellbeing.

 

Congratulations New Zealand for giving domestic violence survivors to chance to change their circumstances. If only we saw this sort of caring, forward thinking legislation in other countries.