PSA pushes for family violence to be treated as a workplace issue

On White Ribbon Day the Public Service Association says it’s important to highlight that family violence needs to be treated as a workplace issue.

The PSA has been working to negotiate special family violence clauses into collective agreements so that those experiencing family violence can get added support.


Research shows that the vast majority of those experiencing family violence are in some form of paid employment.  There is also international evidence that victims of family violence, who are generally women, have a more disrupted work history, are more likely to be employed in casual or part-time work and as a result are on lower incomes.


“The victims of family violence often say it impacts on their ability to get to work and on their productivity while they are at work.  That makes it a workplace issue and a union issue,” says PSA National Secretary Brenda Pilott.


In Australia one million workers now have access to special domestic leave provisions relating to family violence which have been negotiated into collective agreements.


Brenda Pilott says New Zealand needs to be working towards the same thing.


“If we can work with employers to put in place entitlements to help those affected by family violence to remain in work, we improve their situation, help them to break the cycle of violence, improve workplace productivity, and reduce the societal costs of family violence.  That’s a win for everyone.”


“It’s important for everyone to realise that workplaces can play an important role in dealing with family violence issues, whether that be from offering help, creating safe and supportive environments or encouraging others to take action.”


The PSA has made a short video to help raise awareness of family violence as a workplace issue.


It is also working alongside the Ministry of Social Development through the It’s Not Okay public education programme and has produced a useful resources about family violence as a workplace issue.