'Horrendous' stats inspire domestic violence leave

NEXTDC has announced a new domestic violence leave policy in support of White Ribbon Day

'Horrendous' stats inspire domestic violence leave

In support of White Ribbon Day, NEXTDC has announced a new internal policy that offers paid leave to victims of domestic violence. Fiona Notley, chief people and culture officer at NEXTDC, said that by offering paid leave to their permanent employees, they hope to “mitigate the stress and financial worry that people in these terrible situations may be facing”.

“Knowing the horrendous statistics of violence towards women in our country - that 1 in 3 women experience some form of domestic abuse in Australia, and that on average one woman per week in Australia is killed by their partner or former partner – empowered us to better support the women in our work environment and our local communities,” said Notley.

Moreover, research from the Australian Council of Trade Unions showed that it costs $18,000 and takes 141 hours, almost all during business hours, to escape an abusive relationship.

NEXTDC’s new internal policy is available for employees suffering domestic violence to make arrangement for safety or alternative accommodation, access support services, attend to personal matters or to attend court hearings.

“I encourage other companies in the private sector to follow suit and provide support for those who need it most in our communities,” said Notley.

The policy for employees will be available for those in need to take steps to minimise harm and to deal with the impacts of the violence. Such time may be required in order to make safety or alternate accommodation arrangements, or for medical, police or legal assistance, court hearings or counselling.

The abuse may be actual or threatened, and may be physical, sexual, emotional or psychological. Moreover, for permanent employees and fixed-term contractors, employees are eligible to take up to 10 days per annum of special paid leave, to avoid needing to use sick leave, holiday leave or leave without pay.

Additional amounts of special leave are available an as-required basis appropriate to the specific circumstances. Furthermore, confidential counselling services are provided free of charge through our NEXTDC Employee Assistance Program.

Moreover, NSW recently announced that teachers, police, nurses and other public sector workers are set to get 10 days paid domestic violence leave each year.

The new entitlement will be in place from January 1 and will ensure survivors of domestic violence have more resources and more time to rebuild. The announcement will impact more than 300,000 public sector workers.

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