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Paid family and domestic violence leave to be a reality

YWCA Australia welcomes the commitment to implementing universal domestic violence leave 

YWCA Australia welcomes the comments from Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke that the new government is committed to implementing legislation that would provide 10 days of domestic violence leave by the end of the year. Paid domestic violence leave was a recommendation of the Respect@Work 2020 report, and Minister Burke has said that implementing all 55 recommendations will be his priority. 

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) estimated the cost of leaving a domestic violence relationship to be $18,000 back in 2017 – before the pandemic and the massive spike in rent and the overall cost of living that Australians are now facing. 

The ACTU research found some of the biggest costs are housing-related – things like paying rent and bond (suggested to be $3,000) and hiring a moving truck ($260). Finding housing is also one of the most time-consuming parts of leaving a violent relationship, with the research finding it takes roughly 40 hours to secure a new home.

Michelle Phillips, CEO YWCA Australia said:

“Implementing the Respect@Work recommendations is vital to closing the gender pay gap and achieving gender equity in Australia.

Leaving a domestic violence relationship is a costly and stressful exercise – especially with the current housing affordability and availability crisis. For many survivors the cost of rent, bond and moving are significant challenges that prevent survivors from leaving. Providing paid leave is a positive step towards relieving some of the financial pressure.”

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