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Research

Our research

Violence against women and their children affects everybody. It impacts on the health, wellbeing and safety of a significant proportion of Australians throughout all states and territories and places an enormous burden on the nation’s economy across family and community services, health and hospitals, income-support and criminal justice systems.

KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER

News and events

ANROWS hosts events as part of its knowledge transfer and exchange work, including public lectures, workshops and research launches. Details of upcoming ANROWS activities and news are available from the list on the right.

ANROWS

About ANROWS

ANROWS was established by the Commonwealth and all state and territory governments of Australia to produce, disseminate and assist in applying evidence for policy and practice addressing violence against women and their children.

KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER

Resources

To support the take-up of evidence, ANROWS offers a range of resources developed from research to support practitioners and policy-makers in delivering evidence-based interventions.


SUBMISSION

Senate Education and Employment Committees: Re: Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2022

This submission focuses on the enduring financial impacts faced by victims and survivors of domestic and family violence and the importance of paid domestic and family violence leave in ensuring women’s safety. The submission draws on ANROWS evidence and other rigorous peer-reviewed research. 

ANROWS provided a submission to the Senate Education and Employment Committees outlining our support for the Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2022 (“The Bill”). The Bill provides for 10 days of paid domestic and family violence leave for full-time, part-time and casual employees at their full rate of pay.

ANROWS outlines support for the Bill as it offers a protective factor for victims and survivors to maintain continuous employment and supports their economic security. Domestic and family violence has enduring and significant negative financial impacts on victims and survivors, which research shows are a major factor in women’s decisions on whether to leave or stay in an abusive relationship. Domestic and family violence can impact victims and survivors’ paid employment directly and/or through changes in their housing, legal, medical, childcare and broader financial needs. Paid domestic and family violence leave is a valuable tool to address the financial burden faced by victims and survivors and to support their ability to avoid or leave abusive relationships.

ANROWS makes the following recommendations:

  • Inclusion of access to leave for both part-time workers and casuals should be retained, given what we know about the nature of women’s employment.
  • Payment for leave at the actual rate of pay (and not base rates) should be retained. Not only does this ensure that actual income matches expected income, but this arrangement is less likely to come to the attention of the perpetrator if the woman is still in the relationship.
  • It will be necessary to implement a coordinated effort to educate employers specifically, and the community more generally, on the economic and health impacts of experiencing DFV, to minimise the risk of discrimination and facilitate environments where staff are comfortable applying for leave.
  • Research into, and evaluations of, the efficacy of DFV policies will be important to reviewing the future of paid DFV leave (whether people are taking the leave and in what circumstances, and the experiences of both employers and employees).
  • The 10-day allowance for DFV leave should be reviewed as it currently sits below what the research recommends, which is unlimited paid leave or, at a minimum, 14 days’ paid leave.
  • Any changes made to the definition of DFV in the legislation will need to work in harmony with existing definitions and legislation that relate to DFV, given that this amendment will have important practical consequences.

The Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2022 has since passed, with full-time, part-time and casual employees entitled to 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave in a 12-month period. This leave will be available from 1 February 2023 for employees of non-small business employers and 1 August 2023 for employees of small business employers. As recommended by ANROWS, employees are entitled to be paid at their full pay rate. The new leave will be independently reviewed after 12 months to evaluate the impact on small businesses, sole traders, and people experiencing domestic and family violence.

 

 

Suggested citation

Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2022). Re: Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2022 [Submission]. ANROWS.

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