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Govt forcing women to choose between being safe from DV or getting paid

Media Release
Larissa Waters 12 Oct 2018

Greens spokesperson for Women, Senator Larissa Waters, says the Senate Inquiry into the Government’s Family and Domestic Violence Leave Bill cemented the urgent need to give workers 10 days paid leave.

The Greens and Labor delivered a dissenting report today, with the majority report of the Government-led Committee urging the legislation for five days unpaid family and domestic violence leave be passed.

“The overwhelming evidence heard by the Committee was that five days unpaid leave is wholly inadequate and fails to address the needs of women escaping DV,” Senator Waters said.

“The reality is that escaping violent and abusive relationships costs money as well as time – finding new accommodation, legal costs, moving schools – a fact the government is choosing to ignore. Many women can’t afford to go without income to get themselves safe from DV, so unpaid DV leave won’t help them escape from violence. Women shouldn’t have to choose between being safe or getting paid.”

Senator Waters noted the PM’s intention to fast-track tax cuts for businesses with a turnover of $50m, a move expected to pass with the support of Labor.

“It’s disgusting that this Government will give large businesses and corporations a tax cut but won’t give women just ten days of paid leave to help them in their time of great need,” Senator Waters said.

“Paid FDV leave is an investment in workers, reducing absenteeism and recruitment and training costs. Significantly, it will also help shift attitudes towards violence against women and address economic inequalities which are a core driver of violence.

“In the past week we’ve seen at least seven women killed by violence. What will it take to get this national crisis on the Prime Minister’s agenda and real and meaningful action from his Government?”

Senator Waters previously announced she will move an amendment to the bill when it comes before the Senate. Greens spokesperson for employment Adam Bandt MP introduced a bill for 10 days paid leave last year.

Media Contact: Karina Natt 0419 626 725

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