NSW Gov doubles family and domestic violence leave provisions for public sector workers

THE NSW Government is doubling family and domestic violence leave provisions for all NSW public sector workers with staff able to access 20 days of paid leave per calendar year from 1 January 2023.

The same paid leave provisions will also be provided to casual employees, while access to existing carers leave will be also extended to all employees providing support to a family or household member who is a victim-survivor of domestic violence.

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The enhanced arrangements will apply across the NSW public sector and were developed after discussion with unions, Government employers and family and domestic violence policy experts.

Minister for Women’s Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said the increase of family and domestic violence leave was a key priority of the Perrottet Government.

“As the largest employer in NSW, it is our Government’s responsibility to provide workers with the support and security to take time away from work to take the necessary steps to find safety for themselves and their family,” Mrs Ward said.

“That is why we have made this commitment to double the amount of paid family and domestic violence leave available to all public sector employees from ten to 20 days, to give our workers greater support at a time when they need it most.

“Everyone has the right to be safe both at home and in the workplace, which is why we have made addressing the issue of women’s safety and the prevention of domestic and family violence a priority with record funding to increase support across the sector.”

Minister for Employee Relations Damien Tudehope said the new leave provisions build on other family and safety oriented measures the NSW Government had already put in place for all public sector workers.

“NSW was the first Australian jurisdiction to include specific provisions for family and domestic violence leave in enterprise agreements and awards for its public sector employees and once again we will be leading the way with comprehensive leave provisions to support victim-survivors seeking safety and care,” Mr Tudehope said.

“This new leave provision is the latest in a raft of improvements our government has put in place to improve work environments for NSW public sector workers and sets the standard for other jurisdictions and the private sector to follow.

“Already our Government has enacted nation-leading measures to ensure families, women and children are front of mind in the public sector, including new parental leave policies, and leave in the event of a miscarriage.

Leave is available to NSW Government employees who give birth to a pre-term child (prior to 37 weeks).

The parent with the caring responsibility is entitled to paid special pre-term parental leave from the date of birth of the child (or children from a multiple birth) up to the end of 36 weeks.

In the 2022-23 NSW Budget, the NSW Government announced new paid parental leave arrangements for public sector workers in which there will be no distinction between ‘primary’ or ‘secondary’ carer, with both parents entitled to fourteen weeks of paid parental leave and an additional two weeks leave where leave is more equally shared between parents.

As part of the Budget, the NSW Government also announced five days of paid fertility treatment leave for public sector workers.

The improved family and domestic violence leave entitlement builds on the NSW Government’s record $687 million investment in 2021/22 for a range of for Women’s Safety initiatives, as well as a further $100 million in the 2022/23 Budget.

The NSW Domestic Violence Line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 656 463 to explain services and support available.

The 1800RESPECT online chat service is available as an alternative to calling.

Information about other services and support is available on the Department of Communities and Justice website.

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