MUA Women’s Officer
Union victory delivers Domestic Violence Leave for Award Employees
17 May 2022
The Maritime Union of Australia joins with unions around Australia in welcoming the Fair Work Commission’s decision to include 10 days Family and Domestic Violence leave in all Modern Awards, including the Stevedoring Industry and Seagoing Industry Awards which underpin much of the industries which the MUA represents.
This decision comes after more than ten years of advocacy and campaigns by trade unions started by the Australian Services Union, who achieved the first DV leave in an EBA and have campaigned ever since for 10 days’ paid DV leave.
The MUA Women’s Officer, Mich-Elle Myers, heralded the reform as a massive victory for workers and their families who have been campaigning to enshrine these protections in employment agreements throughout the maritime sector.
“The MUA has been inserting similar clauses into all negotiations while bargaining for Enterprise Agreements around the country, but by enshrining these new protections in all Modern Awards, the issue cannot be used as a bargaining chip by employers further down the track,” Ms Myers said.
“While we welcome the Fair Work Commission’s decision to incorporate DV leave protections for 2.5 million Award employees, it’s essential that this new standard now be adopted into the National Employment Standards so that the most vulnerable workers – those without a robust Award or Employment Agreement can also access a minimum level of protection when they are experiencing or fleeing domestic violence,” Ms Myers said.
“This is why it’s so important for workers to vote Labor at the election this week – only Labor supported this reform and only Labor will extend it into the National Employment Standards. The Liberals stood silent throughout this campaign and failed to lead on this important reform from their powerful position in government,” Ms Myers said.