Domestic violence bill passes

Green Party MP Jan Logie’s member’s Domestic Violence Victims Protection Bill passed in Parliament yesterday, with Greens, Labour and NZ First voting in favour and National and ACT voting against.

RNZ:  Domestic violence paid leave bill passes in Parliament

Parliament has passed legislation which will provide victims of domestic violence with 10 days of paid leave a year.

Ms Logie said the bill’s passing was a win for victims, employers, and society as a whole.

She said everyone should be able to live free from violence, but too many people found it impossible to keep their jobs while trying to move house, attend court dates, and settle their children at a new school.

“This offers them a pathway to safety, it lets them know that as a country we’ve all got their back.

“That this isn’t just about government, this is about every single one of us doing what we can to support them to be safe.”

The new law will come into force on 1 April, 2019.

I have mixed feelings about this.

It’s important that there are better ways of addressing the serious problem of domestic abuse, but I’m not sure that another specific leave type be made available.

From 1 April 2019 when this bill comes into force these leave types will be available:

  • Annual leave – minimum 4 weeks
  • Public holidays – 10 days per year

So a minimum of six weeks leave per year. Plus special purpose leave:

  • Sick leave – 5 days per year which can accumulate to 20 days.
  • Bereavement leave:
    – 3 days per death if a spouse or partner, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or spouse or partner’s parent dies
    – 1 day on the death of another person if their employer accepts they’ve had a bereavement, based on how close they were with the deceased person, whether they have to take a lot of the responsibility for all or any of the arrangements for the ceremonies relating to the death, and if they have any cultural responsibilities in relation to the death
  • Domestic violence leave – 2 weeks per year
  • ACC injury – as long as required but the employer is responsible for the first week

Some employees take most or all sick leave available, some take little if any (I take about 1-2 days sick leave every couple of years, so average 1 day per year at the most).

Domestic violence leave should be a one off for most people unfortunate enough to have to deal with it. Id someone had to take the full 2 weeks in a year that would suggest a serious problem, and if it kept recurring year after year it would be both (probably) unusual, and should require some sort of preventative action.

I don’t know how willing victims of domestic violence will be to be open about it to their employers.

 

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13 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  July 26, 2018

    ”Parliament has passed legislation which will provide victims of domestic violence with 10 days of paid leave a year.”

    I can’t believe this. A husband smacks the missus up..and the employer foots the bill. Who the hell would want to own a business. And what if that business employs lower socio economic workers. You could conceivably have 50% of your workforce absent if the All Blacks lose the next world cup.

    Reply
  2. Gerrit

     /  July 26, 2018

    And the CoL wonder why business confidence is down.

    Couple that with extended paid parental leave who in their right mind, with a view on the top and bottom lines off the accounts, would employ women?

    Only good thing about this is that the women wanting 10 days leave would at least need a police report to give to their employer to verify truthfulness, thus both the basher and bashed will be in contact with relevant control and support parties.

    And the kids would be on the oranga tamariki database should further action be required.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  July 26, 2018

      Those are good points. Hopefully that will put an anchor on this legislation being abused. However, my gut feeling is it will be abused using some loophole not yet apparent..

      Reply
    • PDB

       /  July 26, 2018

      Gerrit: “Only good thing about this is that the women wanting 10 days leave would at least need a police report to give to their employer to verify truthfulness”

      No, I don’t think it does. NZ Police: “The law says that ‘domestic violence’ can be physical, sexual or psychological.
      Nobody has the right to assault another person.
      Nobody is allowed to have sexual contact with another person without permission.
      Nobody has the right to use intimidation, threats or mind games to gain power over another person.”.

      This means having a verbal domestic, or even being called a name would mean you could have some days off. This policy, though well-intentioned, does nothing to help the problem. Many people suffering from serious domestic violence don’t even tell close family let alone their employer. The fact the employer has to pay for something totally outside of their control is also a joke.

      Reply
      • There was a sensationalised study a few years ago that proved that (probably the hardy perennial of one in three) children had witnessed domestic violence.

        Needless to say that the violence could be nothing more than a quarrel, I’d like to know how many couples have never had any sort of a row.

        Reply
        • Pants, an employer was considered to be liable when a woman employee went to the house of a male employee and after a few drinks, one thing led to another. The case caused some debate at the time. Should an employer be responsible for one employee trying it on with another out of the workplace ?

          Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  July 26, 2018

    All employers will have to have a domestic violence policy. More paper war nonsense for hundreds of thousands of small businesses and no doubt more bureaucrats to police it.

    Reply
  4. Zedd

     /  July 26, 2018

    comment in open forum yesterday;
    Natl withdrew their support ‘they know the cost of everything.. but VALUE of nothing’

    BUT good onya Jan.. you won it anyway ! 🙂

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  July 26, 2018

      The bill perfectly sums up the Green Party – feels good but achieves nothing.

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  July 26, 2018

      Unfortunately this Government doesn’t know the cost of anything. This one will inevitably have its unintended consequences, most likely reducing private employment opportunities and wages for those most vulnerable.

      Reply
  1. Domestic violence bill passes — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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