Sunday 21 April 2024

Contact 1800 772 679

Contact 1800 772 679

The magazine of the Public Service Association of NSW and the Community and Public Sector Union (NSW Branch)

The Pioneers of DFV

The Pioneers of DFV

The PSA CPSU NSW pioneered domestic and family violence (DFV) leave in Australia.

In October 2010 Australia’s first DFV clause was negotiated between the PSA and the University of NSW (UNSW).

“As late as August 2010 we had thought that UNSW had agreed to the full 20 days,” said then Women’s Officer Anne Kennelly. “But disappointingly the final clause was not as strong as that due to last minute intransigence by UNSW management.

“Nonetheless, we were the first in negotiating such a claim in Australia and got this important issue as a workplace issue on the industrial map.”

The PSA wrote to the NSW Government in May 2010 seeking that NSW public servants’ Awards be varied to include a DFV leave clause. On 12

February 2011, after nearly a year of negotiations, the NSW Government announced additional workplace rights for public sector workers experiencing domestic violence. The new provisions allowed, for the first time, for employees experiencing DFV to use sick leave, carers leave and FACS leave. When these entitlements were exhausted employees had five more days’ leave per year.

“Incredibly within two years your union was able to shift the notion that DFV was a private, non-work-related matter to being an entitlement for more than 350,000 public sector workers,” said Ms Kennelly. “This set a significant precedent across Australia. More unions started putting claims on their employer for DFV leave and entitlements.”

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