This is bizarre:
UNIONS have stepped up their campaign for paid domestic violence leave with four new Victorian employers facing an innovative claim and the ACTU signalling it wants widespread use of the leave.
The Age revealed last month that the Australian Services Union and Surf Coast Shire Council agreed to a clause that allows for up to 20 days of paid leave a year for victims of family violence under an Australia-first deal.
Now ACTU president Ged Kearney has said she wants other unions and employers to adopt similar agreements.The Surf Coast agreement – regarded as possibly the most progressive in the world on family violence – requires the employer to not breach the privacy of victims and covers physical, sexual, emotional, financial, verbal or emotional abuse by a family member.
A question: for how many years can an employee claim this leave entitlement before the employer is entitled to call the cops to report an abusive husband? Or demand marriage counselling?
- Andrew Bolt:
Indeed, if an employer is reponsible for giving weeks of leave to an allegedly abused wife, doesn’t that boss also become liable for damages if they don’t warn police or domestic violence groups about a tragedy in the making? Try explaining to a court why you didn’t ring the police, despite having to give some since-murdered woman three weeks off to get over her bruises.
Here’s another question: why privilege this one form of domestic stress above another that may seem an even more valid excuse for not turning up at work? What about someone who is trying to nurse a close relative or friend through a terminal illness or a family crisis?
This also strikes me as potentially encouraging women to tolerate abuse they should take steps to end. When you can skip work for a couple of weeks, you might be encouraged to delay the moment when enough really is enough.
And then there is this more fundamental philosophical point: to what extent is your private life the responsibility of someone else?