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National Party lets women down

The Council of Trade Unions says the National Party pulling support for a sensible and important bill to support survivors of domestic violence in their workplace is deeply disappointing and lets women down.

The Justice Select Committee has today reported back on Jan Logie’s Domestic Violence-Victims’ Protection Bill which would provide for 10 days paid leave from work and other support provisions. The National Party have withdrawn their support for the measure, and as a result the Committee has been unable to agree on whether the bill should go forward into law.

"Jan Logie’s bill will make a real difference to the lives of people who are experiencing domestic violence," CTU Secretary Sam Huggard said.

"Leaving an abusive relationship is made easier by a stable and prepared workplace that provides support and understanding. Staying in employment is important because it provides economic independence - but it may also be one of the last remaining places where a person in a domestic violence situation can experience some normality, safety and support."

The proposed law change would provide 10 days of paid leave in any calendar year which could be used for medical appointments, legal proceedings and other activities related to family violence.

"We’re frankly gutted that the National Party has pulled their support. They are right to say that some employers are already supporting women in these situations. But it shouldn’t be left to luck that people experiencing domestic violence will have a safe workplace that supports them to stay employed. We need a minimum legal protection for all survivors to hold on to the lifeline that their work can provide.

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