Step forward for Bill giving 10 days' leave to domestic violence victims

A Bill that would give victims of domestic violence 10 days of paid leave has taken a step forward.
A Bill that would give victims of domestic violence 10 days of paid leave has taken a step forward. Photo credit: iStock

A Bill that would give victims of domestic violence 10 days of paid leave has taken a step forward.

It will now only need to pass its third reading, likely at some point in July.

It's passed with support from the Government parties, and objection from National and ACT. If it passes, the law will come into effect from April 1, 2018.

The Opposition say the Bill is bureaucratically-heavy and expensive for employers. Mark Mitchell proposed a change to the Bill that would replace domestic violence leave with a clause making it explicit domestic violence is a legitimate reason to take annual or sick leave instead.

During her speech on the Bill, National's Judith Collins said while everyone would have sympathy for victims of domestic violence, she also has sympathy for business owners who are not perpetrators of domestic violence, "but would have to pay for people to take extra time off".

Ms Collins suggested the Government would be better off making provision for domestic violence leave in the Budget or through the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).

After a deadlock at select committee, recommended changes to the Bill were introduced by supplementary order papers during committee of the whole house.

Changes include New Zealand First's amendment, which gives employers 10 days instead of five to sort out working arrangements before providing leave.

During her speech, NZ First's Tracey Martin said the Tax Working Group will look into whether businesses could claim the leave back as part of the tax rebate.

The Warehouse Group voluntarily introduced a similar scheme allowing employees who have been victims of domestic violence 10 days' paid leave a year for medical appointments, legal proceedings or other activities related to family violence.

Newshub.

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