PSA to politicians: Do right by family violence victims, support the members’ bill

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The Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi is delighted parliament will debate a bill giving greater protection to family violence victims in the workplace.

Jan Logie’s member's bill was drawn from the ballot today and the PSA says all political parties must do the right thing - and make sure it passes.

"This legislation would be a huge step for people who are experiencing family violence," PSA National Secretary Erin Polaczuk says.

"In a recent survey, more than half of our members had either been victims of family violence, or knew someone who has.

"Victims are often left anxious and fearful, and their abusers may try to stop them going to work.

"Staying in work is crucially important for victims of family violence - for employers it makes good business sense, but it’s also the right thing to do.

"Research by Suzanne Snively in 2014 showed the impact of family violence costs employers at least $368 million a year. If nothing is done, it will cost employers at least $3.7 billion by 2024 - a loss of 2.3 million days of work."

Ms Logie’s bill would require employers to approve flexible work hours for family violence victims unless there are specific grounds to refuse.

It also proposes a more precise set of obligations on employers under the Health and Safety at Work Act, and provides 10 days’ special leave for people affected by family violence.

"Many employers in the public and private sector already have family violence measures in place, but this is another step forward," Ms Polaczuk says.

"It’s a way of saying what happens in our home lives affects our work lives.

"This legislation will set in place a number of measures to support victims, keep them safe and ensure they can carry on working through a desperately traumatic experience.

"We encourage MPs from all parties to support this bill - as a clear statement that family violence is not OK."