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Qld leads way on domestic violence reform

AAP logoAAP 14/11/2016 Jamie McKinnell

The Queensland government has thrown its support behind a push for domestic violence leave to become a national employment standard as it prepares to debate its own historic legislation.

The ACTU on Monday began a case in the Fair Work Commission to secure 10 days of paid leave for domestic and family violence victims, prompting a day of action by unions across the country.

Queensland Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Shannon Fentiman joined unionists and federal colleague Terri Butler at a rally in Brisbane to highlight the leave already offered by Energy Queensland.

"We are leading the way in Queensland," Ms Fentiman said.

"We absolutely believe this is a workplace issue."

In the last sitting week of this year, Queensland's hung parliament will debate the Labor minority government's industrial relations bill, which would make the state the first jurisdiction to have a legislated right to domestic violence leave.

"We need to break the culture of domestic and violence and that means shifting the attitudes and behaviours that underpin the cycle of violence - and we need to do that at work," Ms Fentiman said.

One in three women who experience domestic violence report losing their job, while 90 per cent of those who have a violent partner stalking them say it also happens at work.

"It is not good enough anymore for workplaces to say this is an issue that happens at home," Ms Fentiman said.

The government's bill would also extend to local government employees.

Queensland Council of Unions general secretary Ros McLennan said about 1.5 million workers had access to some form of paid domestic violence leave, but the situation as it stands was "patchy" and needed to change.

"It's often inter-generation, it causes poverty, homelessness, injury, mental illness," Ms McLennan told AAP.

"The time has come to do something about it."

National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.

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