Nurses and midwives won’t wait for domestic violence leave

The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) and its members are calling on NSW Premier, Mike Baird to support 10 days of paid domestic violence leave in the National Employment Standards at tomorrow’s COAG meeting.

This year alone, 69 women in Australia have died from domestic violence. On average, 184 incidents of domestic violence are reported in NSW every day, yet there is no basic entitlement for a worker experiencing such violence to access leave.

Domestic violence leave allows women to take time they need to attend counselling and support service appointments, court dates, move home or take their children to new schools in order to escape the cycle of violence.

Assistant General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Judith Kiejda, said the issue was at crisis point.

“The statistics are horrifying. Domestic violence victims cannot afford to wait any longer to get the support they need. Having reassurance that leave can be accessed in these difficult and stressful situations might just give women the independence to remove themselves from those harmful environments before it’s too late,” Ms Kiejda said.

“We need Premier Baird to join other state counterparts and advocate for domestic violence victims in NSW at the COAG meeting tomorrow by introducing paid leave to the National Employment Standards.

“With a workforce that is 90 per cent women, nurses have a high risk of experiencing domestic violence. We know that two thirds of women who experience domestic violence also work and that abuse can follow them to their workplace in the form of threatening emails, phone calls and stalking. This is why the NSWNMA is advocating for changes to the National Employment Standards to allow time off work for our nurses and midwives who may be victims of domestic violence.”

The NSWNMA has joined Unions NSW and the Australian Services Union in support of the ‘We Won’t Wait Campaign’ that runs from 25 November to 10 December.

Download this media release: Nurses and midwives won’t wait for domestic violence leave

Join over 75,000 nurses and midwives in NSW by becoming a valued member today.

You’ll automatically become a member of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation