Government needs to act on workplace domestic violence response

The Green Party has called for the Government to act on workplace domestic violence issues by picking up a Bill the Greens’ Women’s Issues spokesperson Jan Logie has in the Member’s Bill ballot.

The Greens’ call follows The Warehouse Group’s  announcement today that it is developing a comprehensive human resources policy around domestic violence.

“I congratulate The Warehouse Group for taking this initiative to support those of its staff whose lives are devastated by domestic violence”, said Ms Logie.

“They are implementing a measure that will enhance the lives of some of their most vulnerable workers, while improving their productivity, given that domestic violence currently costs workplaces millions of dollars every year.

“However, it should not be left to the good will and good business sense of individual employers such as The Warehouse Group to support workers who experience domestic violence.

“The Government needs to legislate to ensure all employers treat domestic violence as a human rights issue and put measures in place to support and protect staff experiencing or at risk of domestic violence.

“My Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Bill proposes to do that, and while parts of it require updating following the recent passage of the Health and Safety at Work Act, other parts, such as the provision of up to 10 days’ leave from work for victims of domestic violence, could be picked up by Government immediately.

“The support of employers is often crucial to domestic violence victims being able to deal with the issues they are experiencing and leave violent relationships.

“I am encouraged by the recent Select Committee report on workplace health and safety legislation which acknowledged that fear, fatigue, and other responses to domestic violence can be a hazard in the workplace and encouraged business and Government to work to mitigate the effects of domestic violence on workplace health and safety.

”By picking up my Bill, and by taking initiatives such as getting ACC to fund workplace training to assist employers to respond to domestic violence as a workplace hazard, the Government could go a long way towards meeting that Select Committee recommendation,” Ms Logie said.