30 July 2018
Leave for Victims of Domestic Abuse Passed into Law
The purpose of the change is to support victims of domestic violence in their abiity to make those immediate changes needed in their lives following domestic abuse such as finding new accoomodation, dealing with legal matters and organising childcare, without fear of loosing their jobs by providing new entitlements and legal protection.
The Act makes amendments to the Domestic Violence Act 1995, Employment Relations Act 2000, Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, Holidays Act 2003, and Human Rights Act 1993 by providing 10 days paid leave on top of other leave entitlements and comes into effect in April 2019. The amendment also provides for the ability for the employee to request a short term variation to their conditions of employment to allow for flexible working arrangement to support the employee through the trauma of being a domestic abuse victim.
These are not blanket amendments, in that, the Employer can require proof to support the claim that the employee is a victim of domestic abuse. There are also time limits on the entitlements. The employee must provide proof within 10 days of being asked, or the variation can be declined. There are also a range of grounds that the employer can refuse the request, however, the employer must consider the request and can only decline the request on the grounds given in the amendment.
If approved the amendment intends for any variation to be short term of not more than two months.
Employees have the right now to request flexible working arrangements under their ability to negotiate conditions of employment, the amendment for domestic violence places an obligation on the employer to activelyconsider the request and limits the ability to decline the request. The impact of the leave on costs and operaion of a business should be minimal as the entitlements are targeted at a small group of employees. The reality is that the benefits are likely to outweigh any short term cost through retention of a prooductive employee.
The number of workplace fatalities between Mar 17 and Mar 18 - 50