New Zealand passes Bill giving 10 days' leave to domestic violence victims

New Zealand passes Bill giving 10 days' leave to domestic violence victims

Victims of domestic violence will soon be entitled to 10 days of paid leave from the workplace.

The Green Party's Jan Logie's Bill allows victims of domestic violence to request domestic violence leave. It's been passed with support from Government partners Labour and New Zealand First.

Domestic violence charity Shine says the Bill is fantastic.

"It can make an enormous difference for the very small number of victims who need to take advantage of the provision," Holly Carrington, Shine Communications Manager told Newshub.

"What this Bill does is ensures a basic level of support from all employers across the board, which is just fantastic."

Ms Logie, who authored the Bill, told Parliament it was a "great honour" to welcome "a new era" in response to domestic violence.

"In this beautiful, gutsy, vibrant country of ours, police are called out to a family violence incident every four minutes. That's only about 20 to 25 percent of incidents."

"We have a problem and we will not solve this problem by continuing to focus all of our resources and efforts on what happens after the police have been called."

"This Bill is a commitment to early intervention and prevention," Ms Logie said.

The new leave provision will be in place from April 2019.

National opposed the Bill, saying it could negatively impact women if employers choose not to take them on in case they take the leave.

"Ultimately, employers will start to filter and start to look at whether or not they want to hire someone that may present a risk around domestic violence because ultimately it could impact on their business," justice spokesperson Mark Mitchell told Newshub.

"Jan Logie's Bill is not going to prevent or stop one domestic violence attack against a woman...  And actually if the Government really believes in this Bill, then fund it - don't pass the cost onto small and medium businesses," Mr Mitchell said.