New law gives 10 days' paid leave to domestic violence victims

New Zealand has some of the worst domestic violence statistics in the world. New Zealand Police attend a family violence-related callout every four minutes.

But starting Monday, businesses will come onboard to help make that change. The Victims' Protection Act will allow employees to take up to 10 days of paid domestic violence leave a year.

The Bill was introduced by Green MP Jan Logie, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Domestic and Sexual Violence, and was passed last August.

"We've got horrific, just heartbreaking rates of family violence in this country. And we can do something about that," she says.

New Zealand is the first country in the world to implement this kind of law - and Logie says she's spoken to MPs from around the world about it.

"We're helping change the world, as well and make women and children's lives safer here," she says.

"We've got their back, and we're going to help them keep their job, and find a pathway to safety."

Domestic violence charity Shine says the law change is long overdue - but many employers won't be prepared for the complexities of dealing with an employee who needs the support.

"For a victim that's in danger, possibly the most important thing an employer can provide is a safe place for them to work," says Shine policy advisor Holly Carrington.

And a place where they feel safe to be honest about their predicament.

"People are not going to disclose unless they know it's safe to disclose," Carrington says.

Shine and the government are working with businesses to ensure their responses are appropriate - and help affected staff feel safe.