Domestic violence legislation shows unions’ power to drive change

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World-first legislation to give workplace support to victims of family violence proves unions are driving change for all workers, the PSA says.

Green MP Jan Logie sponsored the Domestic Violence Victims’ Protection Bill, which became law last night and will come into effect from April next year.

The new Act provides up to 10 days’ paid leave for people who are experiencing family violence, plus easier access to flexible working and stronger anti-discrimination measures.

"We are overjoyed to see New Zealand leading the way on this issue, which is of critical importance to our members and to the wider world of work," PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk says.

"People experiencing family violence often rely on work to provide stability and maintain financial independence - but moving house, attending court and keeping their families safe can make it hard to hold down a job.

"What happens at home affects what happens in the workplace, and this law recognises that."

The PSA has campaigned for better workplace rights for domestic violence victims since 2011, and Ms Polaczuk says the new Act shows what unions can do to improve rights for all employees.

"This Act is yet another example of what unions, government and civil society groups can achieve when they work together.

"The PSA stands for a better working life - on behalf of its members, but also the wider workplace culture in New Zealand.

"We are glad this Government is open to working with us, and join them in celebrating an important achievement."