New Zealand Passes Bill Granting Domestic Violence Victims Paid Leave
Victims of domestic violence in New Zealand will now receive 10 days paid leave to give them time to leave their partners, find new homes and protect themselves and their children.
The legislation passed Parliament 63 to 57 this week, making New Zealand the second country in the world to pass this kind of legislation after the Philippines, according to The New York Times.
The Domestic Violence Protection Bill, which will go into effect in April 2019 was proposed by Jan Logie, a lawmaker from the country’s left-leaning Green Party, in 2016. Logie said gender-based violence has become too commonplace in New Zealand and has reached "into workplaces," where victims show up late or miss work completely because of it, the Times reported.
Logie said that current leave policies aren’t adequate for victims to "deal with courts, find a new house, go to counseling or support their children dealing with trauma."
It doesn’t make sense to tell victims we want them to leave and then force them into poverty when they do, she told the Times.
She told Parliament before the bill was passed that police are called to a family violence incident every four minutes, and a 2017 report in The New Zealand Herald said the country had "the worst rate of family and intimate-partner violence in the world." The report estimated that 525,000 people in the country were victims of domestic violence every year.
In addition to 10 days leave, the bill also allows victims to request flexible working arrangements and it gives them protection against discrimination, according to the Times.