Bill to allow domestic violence victims 10 days leave close to passing

A member's bill that will allow 10 days leave from work to victims of domestic violence is now awaiting its third reading in Parliament. However, it will not be receiving support from National who say they feel sympathy for small businesses that will be fronting the costs.

A bill supporting victims to stay in paid employment is looking likely to pass its third reading in late July. Skylight CEO says it will make a great difference to lives throughout the country.

"There's a huge cost to woman and families in this country as a result of domestic violence, having to change houses, having to move all the time, having to reinstate children in school. Victims accrue huge costs in relation to that."

The Victim’s Protection bill received overwhelming support in its first reading from all parties, however in its second reading National dropped its support. The bill is expected to pass with support from NZ First, Labour and the Greens.

MP in charge, Jan Logie says "The first reading when we had support right across the parliament, it sent a really strong message to the people of NZ that we were united in our desire to support victims."

But National’s Judith Collins says the bill is unfair and that funding should be the responsibility of ACC.

"I think don't think it's fair to ask small business owners to fund the situation that is absolutely not of their making where they are now in many cases going to consider whether or not this is maybe an employee that they need to keep."

“It’s very hard to see that happening, I think ACC is well set up to it. They already do a lot of work around domestic violence and they also do a lot of work around prevention of injury.”

The bill passed Committee of the whole house on Wednesday night. Ms Logie says it was not proposed in National’s amendments.

"Interestingly they didn't put in an amendment to make that change and I would say that in all of the economic modeling and the overseas experiences that businesses benefit from doing this."

Women's Refuge stats recorded more than 33,000 domestic violence cases to police per year. The bill will have its third reading on July 25 and will come into effect on April 1.