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Annual leave provisions mooted for domestic violence victims

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Paid leave for domestic violence victims could be adopted as State Government policy, with the South Australian Labor Party to debate calls for the move at its annual convention tomorrow.

There are three separate motions demanding the issue be adopted as policy, from the Australian Services Union, the Community and Public Sector Union and the Reynell Sub-branch.

The ASU motion “supports the principle that family and domestic violence is a workplace issue and that paid domestic violence leave can assist employees experiencing family or domestic violence maintain paid employment”.

It says the provision would also “support them through the process of escaping family violence and promote safe and secure workplaces”.

It seeks to extend measures adopted at the ALP’s national conference to support 10 days additional annual leave for domestic violence victims, safeguarded by improved confidentiality provisions.

The move was pushed through the national conference after a barnstorming speech by CFMEU West Australian assistant state secretary Joe McDonald, who said paid leave was “only a start”.

“Somewhere on the street where you live there is a war in the kitchen for somebody … F***ing stop it, f***ing fix it, do something about it,” he said.

But the measure was criticised by business leaders, including Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Kate Carnell, who warned it could affect employment opportunities for women.

“Convention believes access to paid domestic violence leave is a right that should be secured in legislation and ALP SA will campaign and advocate for it to be included in the National Employment Standards and relevant state legislation,” the ASU motion states.

The Reynell sub-branch will urge the convention to “call upon the State Government to work with unions and relevant employers to include Domestic Violence Leave provisions in the state Fair Work Act”.

The CPSU motion echoes that of the ASU, arguing for more flexible working arrangements for victims.

The conference will be addressed by Premier Jay Weatherill and federal leader Bill Shorten.

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Jay Weatherill, here at COAG, has spoken strongly against domestic violence. Photo: AAP.

Other motions to be considered include:

REVIEWING Labor’s bikie laws curtailing “freedom of association”, in light of the Queensland Labor Government’s move to reconsider similar laws imposed in that state.

BANS on alcohol advertising “similar to those already applying for gambling advertising”.

OPPOSING elements of the new China/Australia Free Trade Agreement “that undermine national sovereignty and the rights and conditions of Australian workers”.

IMPLEMENTING alternative strategies to reduce prison overcrowding.

A NEW public holiday to be introduced for Easter Sunday, and

ENSURING “that affirmative action applies to the Affirmative Action Monitoring Committee”.

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