Domestic violence leave for Queensland's public sector workers

Queensland's public sector employees affected by domestic violence will get a minimum of 10 days paid leave a year.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who announced the move at a White Ribbon Day breakfast, said it would help people attend legal, medical and counselling services and arrange alternative accommodation and child care.

They will not have to provide supportive documentation for the days off, furthermore they will be able to access flexible working arrangements.

"The point of this move is to be flexible, compassionate and understanding at a time when our fellow colleagues need it most," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"We intend to lead by example championing cultural change.

"I encourage all Queensland employers to think about what they can do to help the most vulnerable in their darkest time.

"What fundamental cultural shift has happened in our world where there is not galvanized collective outrage that violence in the home has been allowed to reach epidemic proportions.

These women all died in 2015


What they have in common is police have laid charges against their partners or ex-partners. The women's families and friends share the stories of their lives.

"Why are we not more angry, incensed, as we speak thousands of women, children and men are living awful lives, lives that are stained by violence in a place where they should feel the most safe - their homes."

Public outrage was sparked in September amid a spate of domestic violence attacks in south-east Queensland, three people died and there was an attempted murder in separate incidents within days of each other.

The Queensland Government is in the process of implementing all of the 121 recommendations outlined in the Not Now, Not Ever domestic violence report, handed down earlier this year.

Moves include tougher penalties for breaching domestic violence orders (DVOs), special domestic violence courts, extra funding for support networks and protecting victims from seeing their alleged attackers in court.

To keep progress on track a Premier's Implementation Council on Domestic Violence and Family Violence was established, chaired by the report's author, former governor-general Quentin Bryce.

On Wednesday Ms Palaszczuk announced further members to the council, including deputy chair Lance Hockridge, Darren Lockyer, Faiza El-Higzi, Janette Phelan and Edward Mosby and Natalie Lewis.

Domestic violence 'costing workplaces billions'

Queensland Council of Unions general secretary Ros McLennan said the estimated annual cost of domestic and family violence to the Queensland economy is between $2.7 billion and $3.2 billion, and more than $13 billion nationally.

She said federal Labor needed to follow Queensland's initiative.

"Five days as proposed by federal Labor is a start but 10 days as just announced for Queensland public sector workers would provide more practical support for affected workers across all industries," she said.

Dame Quentin expected the private sector to provide more leave.

"I'm sure that they will," she said.

"I've always understood that is appropriate, indeed it's the role of the public sector, the public service to be a model employer, to take the lead."

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