Asia-Pacific

New Zealand brings in paid domestic violence leave

New Zealand has passed legislation granting victims of domestic violence 10 days paid leave. Source: Moment RF

New Zealand has voted to pass a bill giving domestic violence victims 10 days' additional time off work on top of existing entitlements.

Domestic violence victims in New Zealand will be able to take two weeks' paid leave after the passing of a new law.

The country's politicians on Wednesday night voted to pass a bill giving victims 10 days' additional time off on top of existing holiday and sickness entitlements.

"In this beautiful, gutsy, vibrant country of ours, police are called out to a family violence incident every four minutes. That's only about 20 to 25 per cent of incidents," Green Party member Jan Logie - who introduced the bill - told parliament.

"We have a problem and we will not solve this problem by continuing to focus all of our resources and efforts on what happens after the police have been called."

The bill was opposed by the centre-right opposition National Party, which argued it would lead to employers avoiding hiring staff they thought could be at risk of family violence.

In March, Australia's Fair Work Commission voted to allow five days' unpaid leave for domestic violence victims but turned down a union proposal to introduce 10 paid days.

The Philippines introduced similar leave provisions in 2004.

New Zealand has the highest rate of reported partner violence in the developed world. The country's family homicide rate is double Australia's.

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