New law passed to allow victims of domestic violence 10 days leave

By Jessica Tyson

A Bill that will allow victims of domestic violence 10 days leave from work has been passed by Parliament, so that victims can get help without worrying about losing their jobs.

The Domestic Violence Victims' Protection Bill, sponsored by Jan Logie, was passed by 63 votes to 57, supported by the Greens, Labour and New Zealand First.

"Everyone should be able to live free from violence," says Logie. "But too many people find it impossible to keep their jobs while trying to move house, attend court dates, or settle the kids at a new school.

"And too many employers are unaware of the extent to which domestic violence impacts their employees and workplaces, and are unsure of how to respond. This bill gives them a framework to do the right thing for everyone - victims and themselves.

Meanwhile, last month, National’s Judith Collins told Te Kāea the bill was 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," said Collins.

“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.”

Women's Refuge stats recorded more than 33,000 domestic violence cases to police per year and the new law will come into force on April 1 2019.