The TWU contested in a submission to the Fair Work Commission NatRoad’s bid to have transport awards excluded from domestic violence leave changes to the award system. At a hearing in Sydney last week the union had a successful conclusion to the unfortunate challenge.
“It is shameful that when so many people in our society are faced with violence in their personal lives that an employer lobby group like NatRoad should take a stance like this. This type of leave gives employers the chance to be part of the movement in our society that refuses to accept violence in homes and instead supports those affected by it. This is about acknowledging the scourge that domestic violence is on our communities and giving workers the power to fight it,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
NatRoad’s submission on the issue stated: “Given the ‘blokey’ culture of the road transport industry, the likelihood of any transport workers, male or female, even admitting they are being subjected to FDV [family domestic violence], let alone, seeking FDV leave under an award to try and tackle the problems arising from FDV is minimal.”
“Transport workers like all workers across our society are affected by domestic violence. One in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone they know while one in four children is exposed to domestic violence. Transport workers have won domestic violence leave in many agreements that allows staff to take time off to attend legal and health appointments or make accommodation arrangements. The right to time off work is an important step in the battle to giving workers a voice and the ability to deal with this problem,” Sheldon added.