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Major change to paid leave ‘will save lives’

Aussies will be entitled to 10 days paid domestic and family violence leave.

A new parent holds a baby while looking at a smart phone and Australian currency in the corner to signify paid leave.
Aussies will not be able to access 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave. (Source: Getty)

Aussie workers will be able to access 10 additional days of paid family and domestic violence leave.

The new laws come into effect on Wednesday, February 1, and give full-time, part-time and casual workers up to 10 days of paid leave.

The new arrangements are expected to cover at least 7 million workers, who previously could only access five days of unpaid domestic violence leave.

Businesses with more than 15 employees will be able to access the revised leave from February 1, while small businesses have been given a grace period until August 1 to enact the changes. To ensure privacy, the leave will not appear on the workers' payslip.

Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke said it was important those facing violence, particularly women, were given the opportunity to take leave without suffering financially.

"Workers should never have to choose between their safety and wages. Paid family and domestic violence leave is a workplace entitlement that will save lives," Burke said.

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said employers also played an important role.

"The connection with work, the payment of wages, is really important in keeping stability in the lives of those experiencing violence when they are attempting to leave a domestic violence situation," Richworth said.

One woman in Australia dies at the hands of a former or current partner every 10 days, and police deal with an average of 5,000 domestic violence incidents each week.

It's estimated one in five women have taken time off due to violence from a previous partner, and one in 11 due to a current one.

Domestic and family violence helpline 1800 Respect was contacted almost 300,000 times in 2022.

- With AAP

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

Lifeline 13 11 14

beyondblue 1300 22 4636

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