Law change around domestic violence leave coming into effect

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Sunday, 24 March 2019, 4:43PM
The law change will create 120 days of annual leave a year for victims. (Photo / Getty)

An employment lawyer says New Zealand is entering new territory as the Government prepares to roll out a new law to benefit domestic violence victims.

From April 1, victims of domestic violence will be entitled to take 10 days paid leave from work each year or request flexible working conditions under the Domestic Violence Victims Protection Act 2018.

The legislation is an update to current law and will no longer require employees to provide proof to access entitlements, though, employers will have provisions to ask for it.

New Zealand will join Australia which generally offers five days unpaid leave each year in most states and Canada, Ontario, with five days paid leave and up to 10 days unpaid leave for victims of abuse - psychologically, physically, sexually.

Chief executive of the Employment Manufacturer Association Brett O'Reilly told the Weekend Collective that they support anything that helps victims, but employers can expect some challenges in implementing this law.

He says they are concerned about the matters of privacy, as employers can't tell other employees where their colleague has gone. 

"Employers having to work through that, they'll have to create a different category in their payroll system. With something as simple as a payroll slip, they'd have to be careful not to classify it as domestic violence." 

If the privacy was breached, it would become a personal grievance. 

O'Reilly says it is a very sensitive situation for employers to tend with. 

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