Tue. Jul 5th, 2022

The Coalition is remaining non-committal about legislating 10 days’ paid family and domestic violence leave for all workers, after the industrial umpire backed a union push to grant the entitlement to millions of Australians.

Minister for Industrial Relations and Attorney-General Michaelia Cash – who previously argued the entitlement could create a “perverse disincentive” for employers to hire women – said she welcomed the Fair Work Commission’s interim decision.

“We will consult with relevant stakeholders, especially family and domestic violence advocacy groups and small business employers on its implications,” Senator Cash said.

“The Morrison government is pleased that an increasing number of employers already provide leave to their employees for these circumstances, whether through enterprise agreements or workplace policies.”

In its provisional ruling that was released on Monday, the full bench of commissioners agreed with the overarching case put forward by the Australian Council of Trade Unions, stating paid leave was a “critical mechanism” for employees facing violence to maintain employment and financial security.

“Family and domestic violence (FDV) is a ubiquitous and persistent social problem. While men can, and do, experience FDV, such violence disproportionately affects women,” the full bench said.

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