Paid leave to help break the cycle of domestic violence
Victims of domestic and family violence who are working in the South Australian public sector will be able to access additional special leave with pay under new provisions announced by the South Australian Government.
The additional leave is aimed at ensuring victims can maintain their jobs while they take action to break the cycle of violence.
Under the new arrangements, there will be an entitlement to an additional 15 days special leave with pay in a 12-month period. The changes will come into effect early in 2016.
Status of Women Minister Gail Gago said two out of three Australian women who report violence are in paid employment and most of the men who perpetrate this violence are in paid work.
"Paid work provides the financial stability to enable women to leave an abusive relationship and to recover from abuse," Ms Gago said.
"Under these changes, victims will be able to have time off work to recover, attend court appearances, seek legal advice, and make relocation arrangements and the like without the fear of losing their employment."
Public Sector Minister Susan Close said that the workplace has a key role to play in supporting victims of domestic and family violence.
"Domestic violence has an impact on workplaces and as the largest employer in the state, we need to lead by example," Ms Close said.
"It is likely that employees affected by domestic violence would be accessing their other leave entitlements. This additional leave will give them the support to maintain their employment."
Today's announcement is the latest in a suite of State Government initiatives addressing domestic violence. Last year Premier Jay Weatherill launched the policy document Taking a Stand: Responding to Domestic Violence, which responded to issues raised by the Coroner following the inquest into the death of Zahra Abrahimzadeh.
The policy included a requirement for all State Government departments to obtain White Ribbon Workplace accreditation.
"One of the main goals of becoming accredited is to boost support offered to employees who are victims of violence," Ms Gago said.
"Additional leave is one of the ways we can provide support."