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We Won’t Wait – Domestic and Family Violence Leave – our 29th Way

We have a family violence crisis on our hands in Australia!

It can affect anyone – regardless of gender or class. Women, men and children are being abused and murdered by trusted partners or family members.

According to statistics, women are most affected by this violence.

Violence against women is one of the most serious causes and consequences of gender inequality. It increases the risk of women facing disadvantage and can have far-reaching impacts on their social and economic participation, health, housing and security.

Therefore, Domestic and Family Violence is not only a social issue, it is a workplace issue and this has been recognised as such by the Union Movement which has been advocating for Paid Domestic and Family Violence Leave to become a National Employment Standard. Read More here.

Australian Unions have drafted Seven (7) Key Principles that need to be included in a comprehensive Paid Domestic and Family Leave Clause. Please read them here.

Check more from Union movement and download this flyer for your workplace.

As part of this Movement, The Services Union has been strongly advocating for these leave provisions to be included in all Awards, Agreements and National and Queensland Employment Standards.

DFV Work Aware – Training For Your Workplace.

DV Work Aware is a program of the National Working Women’s Centres that has been developed to raise awareness and promote best practice responses to issues of domestic and family violence  (DFV) in the workplace. The key objectives of the program are:

  1. To increase knowledge and awareness of DFV as a workplace issue
  2. To support employees affected by DFV and enhance the capacity of workplaces to respond to issues of DFV that impact at work
  3. To encourage informed actions by workplaces in responding to DFV by providing free and easy to understand resources for diverse groups as well as to provide accessible consultancy and training services to support management and employees to take actions toward the prevention of DFV.

The Services Union is a proud supporter and partner of DFV Work Aware and encourages all workplaces to invest in training.

To find out more please visit the DFV Work Aware website:

Older News

Read our latest news report here from 5 December 2017.


In March 2015, former Governor-General Quentin Bryce handed down the Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland Report which our Union welcomes.

At our 2015 Delegates Conference members Kara Cook, Chantal Eastwell and Rita Fitton spoke passionately about the need for governments to address the issue of Domestic and Family Violence adequately and holistically.

Our Branch Council endorsed Domestic and Family Violence Leave (DFVL) as the 29th Way in our 27 Ways and Growing Campaign.

The Branch Council recommended:
• The establishment in consultation with the women’s committee and women members operating Domestic and Family Violence services a DV delegate and activist group as a key outcome of DFVL being our 29th way; and
• Efforts to progress DFVL as a national employment standard, and a key bargaining outcome for enterprise bargaining in 2015/16; and
• DFVL and education on DFV as an industrial issue to be included in our delegates training package; and
• The Branch’s continued engagement with all governments and our community services sector to identify and implement protective, legal and social service reform to end domestic and family violence within the
Queensland landscape.

As part of their commitment to end domestic and family violence, The Queensland Government released a draft Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Strategy and our DV delegates network made a submission to this strategy to highlight Domestic and Family Violence as a workplace issue. To view our submission, click here.

OPEN LETTER TO PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk

The Combined Women’s Refuge Group in South East QLD (CWRG) is a peak body representing the interests and concerns of the domestic and family violence refuge sector in South East Queensland. These are not commentators, academics or activicts, although some members may also be some of those things.
These women are working on the frontline serivces for victims of domestic violences, they see the women suffering beucase of violence and they know better than anyone how the system is failing those women.
CWRG have written an open letter, signed by 24 domestic violence refuges & support services, to the QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk asking for immediate effective action. Read the full text here.

If you would like to be a part of the Domestic Violence Delegates Network please contact SACS Lead Organiser Camille Furtado:

2016 – Stand Up, Speak Out

We know that domestic violence can happen to anyone. We know that many of our  members will have a direct experience of domestic violence or will have worked with those affected by domestic violence.

Stand up, Speak out and join our campaign to end domestic violence.

  1. Paid domestic violence leave is an important universal right all workers should have access to.

In 2015 79 women were murdered at the hands of their partner.

Women, men and children need to know that their workplace has a commitment to supporting them through paid leave to speak out, seek help and take action if they are affected by domestic violence. Economic dependency traps people in violent relationships.

This important workplace right will save lives.

  1. The provision of timely, effective and expert non-judgemental support for women experiencing violence can make all the difference to whether a woman successfully rebuilds her life and achieves safety.

This means quality support from a range of services must be available – in particular specialist women-led women’s services. Recent funding cuts at all levels of government have had a dramatic effect on women-led women’s services.

We need all governments to come together and provide a new national funding agreement to fill the urgent gaps in service delivery, provide genuine holistic care and support for women, and ensure that women-led women’s services are sustainable into the future.

If you support this campaign sign our petition on Megaphone.


Women’s Conference Wednesday 18th May 2016

The Services Union along with the Australian union movement is advocating for the inclusion of family and domestic violence leave provisions in awards and agreements as a worker right. As the ACTU was making it’s submissions to the Fair Work Commission, The Services Union held a Women’s Conference in May, to continue the campaign and education process to support the 29th Way, Family and Domestic Violence Leave.

This conference delivered an opportunity to focus on and review our work to date on the campaign for the 29th Way: Family and Domestic Violence Leave (FDVL) and devise the next steps in the strategy. Outcomes included the following:

At the federal level it was agreed to:

  • Continue our campaign to end short term competitive tendering in community services, and to lobby for government investment in Quality Community Services
  • Support the inclusion of FDVL in the National Employment Standards and lobby to improve Federal Labor’s policy from 5 to 10 days leave
  • Provide opportunities to allow for more consultation with frontline staff
  • Make FDV orders national and make FDV a crime from the first offence

At the state level it was agreed to:

  • Continue with our investing in Quality Community Services Campaign to end short term competitive tendering – A fair tendering process is essential for quality services to continue, and to seek proper funding for the Equal Remuneration Order
  • Lobby for more funding for refugee beds  (Too much money is wasted on short term accommodation)
  • Provide opportunities to allow for more consultation with frontline staff
  • Make FDV a crime from the first offence
  • Abolish voluntary intervention orders
  • Mandatory ‘Respectful  Relationships’ education in schools
  • FDV court training for judges
  • Decriminalise abortion laws

At a branch level it was agreed to:

  • Work with Sector via our DV delegates network to promote the best models of operation for FDV frontline workers
  • Make contact with the  Independent Education Union  and the Queensland Teachers Union to determine what action has taken place re ‘respectful relationships’ courses in schools
  • Produce posters about FDV and why it’s a workplace issue
  • Promote the work of the union linked to Government FDV announcements
  • Compile a list of employees who allow FDV leave for refuges and support organisations to use for clients
  • Encourage delegates to assist in identifying opportunities to access workers employed at FDV frontline services including refuges and community legal services
  • Work with delegates in all industries on including DFVL into their agreements/policy


Useful links – Domestic and family violence services and Women’s support services


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