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Monday, March 31

New workplace protections bill to cut huge cost of domestic violence


New research released today reveals that domestic violence costs New Zealand  
businesses $368 million a year and demonstrates the need for workplace  
protections, the Green Party said.

Green Party women’s spokesperson Jan Logie has today launched her new  
Member’s Bill to protect victims of domestic violence alongside the release  
of new research commissioned by the Public Service Association (PSA) showing  
the very high cost of domestic violence to New Zealand businesses.

“This research released today outlines the huge cost to victims, and to  
businesses of domestic violence.  It also sets out the solutions needed to  
address the huge need,” said Green Party women’s spokesperson Jan Logie.

“With one in three women experiencing domestic violence in New Zealand, we  
need to take action now to reduce the impact and help these victims rebuild  
their lives.

“My Bill will make the changes we need to help employers support their  
workers to stay safe and employed, and will also save New Zealand businesses  
hundreds of millions of dollars a year.”

Jan Logie’s Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Bill will make four  
main changes:

* protect victims from discrimination on the basis of domestic violence,
* allow victims of domestic violence to request flexible working
  arrangements from their employer if needed,
* allow victims of domestic violence to take up to 10 days leave a year
  related to the violence, and
* clarify that domestic violence is a hazard in the workplace that needs to
  be managed like other hazards.

“Victims of domestic violence often lose their jobs because they may not be  
able to focus on their work, are unable to show up to work, or are stalked by  
their abusers while at work,” said Ms Logie.

“My Bill will let them ask for help and will give employers the tools they  
need to support their workers and keep them in employment – giving the  
victim a secure path out of violence and saving the business money in terms  
of productivity and staff turnover.

“Employers are in a great position to make a difference, and their whole  
workplace will benefit as a result of having the changes this Bill puts in  
place.

“This is a win-win solution that will benefit domestic violence victims,  
wider society and businesses at the same time.”