Domestic Violence Leave
The QCU has been successful in pursuing, on behalf of affiliates, paid leave for public sector workers who are victims of domestic and family violence.
Further, the changes to the Directive includes examples of situations where the leave may be utilised and proposes that leave should be granted to provide the employee with time off to :
• seek safe housing;
• attend medical/counseling appointments;
• attend court hearings;
• access legal advice;
• organise alternate care or education arrangements for their children and;
• rebuild support networks with children, family and others.
Additionally, the amendments make it clear that employees can access this leave with out having to exhaust other forms of leave and that the number of days available is not limited, as the chief executive has the discretion to approve an unlimited amount of leave.
Other changes to the directive clarify that the special leave may be utilised by employees for the following purposes in addition to domestic and family leave:
• an employee who is undergoing an intensive course of medical treatment from specialist practitioners;
• an employee who is dealing with the terminal illness of a partner, child or other close family member (recognising kinship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples);
• an employee who is mourning the death of a partner, child or other close family member;
• an employee whose home or property has been destroyed by a natural disaster such as a flood or cyclone;
• an employee who is the victim of violent crime.
Officers of the Department of Justice and Attorney General advise that the amended directive will be gazetted on Friday 24 February, 2012 and operates from 27 February, 2012.Click here for the link to the directive.
Below is a list of Primary Contacts for Assistance that may be used by unions when referring members to appropriate services in case of emergency.
Primary Contacts for Assistance
Dvconnect (Women’s DV Crisis Line 24 Hours): 1800 811 811
Men’s Line (Mon – Fri 9-5): 1800 600 636
(Other hours): 1800 811 811
Kid’s Help Line: 1800 551 800
Elder Abuse Prevention Unit Help line: 1300 651 192
Disability Information and Awareness Line: 1800 177 120
TTY: 1800 010 222
Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Services
Lifeline: 131 114 (24hours)
Brisbane Domestic Violence Advocacy Service: 07 3217 2544
WAVSS (Working Against Violence Support Service): 07 3808 5566
Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast: 07 5532 9000
Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277
For 24/7 emergency accommodation for women and children contact the statewide hotline on 1800 811 811. Referral will be made to a suitable service in your area or as close as possible.
Pets in Crisis
Contact Dvconnect women’s line: 1800 811 811
Safe at Work, Safe at Home
Workers experiencing domestic violence and unions seeking to negotiate domestic violence clauses are encouraged to visit the Safe at Work, Safe at Home website at http://www.dvandwork.unsw.edu.au/ for further information and resources.
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