The Domestic Violence Victims Protection Act passed today and will come into effect in April 2019. ‘Domestic violence charity Shine said the bill would benefit all employers, including small businesses, through increased productivity and better employee retention. Shine communications manager Holly Carrington said domestic violence was already costing businesses – “not just financially but more importantly the human toll. Without support from their employer, work is not a safe place for victims of domestic violence, and these staff get judged and blamed for resulting performance issues and often end up leaving their job,” she said.
The law requires employers to give victims of domestic violence up to 10 days leave from work, separate from annual leave and sick leave entitlements, making New Zealand the first country in the world to offer this type of leave as a universal entitlement. It also allows workers who are victims of domestic violence to request flexible working arrangements and prohibits being a victim of domestic violence as a grounds for discrimination under the Human Rights Act.
DVFREE is well-positioned to help employers meet new legal requirements, and more importantly to establish an effective staff domestic violence programme. And effective programme creates a workplace that is safe and supportive for employees experiencing domestic violence, makes clear that an employer does not tolerate nor excuse domestic violence, and ensures that all staff know what to do if they know or suspect a colleague is experiencing or perpetrating domestic violence. Go to the DVFREE home page to learn more.