The USU is very happy to support this initiative by Australian Local Government Association President Linda Scott.
Local government has renewed its commitment to preventing violence against women and children, saying it wants to work more closely with other levels of government to drive outcomes. Attending this week’s National Summit on Women’s Safety, Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) President Linda Scott called for dedicated domestic and family violence prevention officers in every state and territory local government association.
This will assist local government to maximise its capacity to contribute to the prevention of domestic violence through targeted, ongoing support to councils across the country, Cr Scott said. Local government’s willingness to play a bigger role in the prevention of violence against women was recognised by a federal parliamentary inquiry into family, domestic and sexual violence in 2020.
This coupled with the USU’s commitment to ensure that family violence clauses are included in all agreements that we negotiate provides a clear commitment. In fact the Local Government State Award 2020 includes a clause that provides access to paid leave. The relevant clause states:
M. FAMILY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LEAVE
(a) In this clause:
• “family and domestic violence” means violent, threatening or other abusive behaviour, by a family member of an employee or another person living in the same household as the employee, that seeks to coerce or control the employee and that causes them harm or to be fearful.
• “family member” means:
(1) a spouse, de facto partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the employee; or
(2) a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of a spouse or de facto partner of the employee; or
(3) a person related to the employee according to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander kinship rules.
(b) A reference to a spouse or de facto partner in the definition of family member in subclause (i)(a) of this clause includes a former spouse or de facto partner.
(ii) Entitlement to paid leave
(a) Subject to subclause (iii) of this clause, an employee, other than a casual employee, is entitled to up to 10 days’ paid leave to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence, as follows:
(1) the leave is available in full at the start of each 12 month period of the employee’s employment; and
(2) the leave does not accumulate from year to year.