NSW Labor is expected to adopt a union motion for paid domestic violence leave to be increased to 10 days at its state party conference in Sydney this weekend.
The Australian Services Union backed by Unions NSW and unions across right and left factions will put the motion to the conference and expects no opposition from NSW Labor Party delegates.
ASU NSW branch secretary Natalie Lang said NSW unions across different factions were united in supporting the motion for a minimum 10 days of paid leave to be a legislated entitlement for all workers.
"We do expect the motion to get up," she said.
"It means that the NSW conference will be calling on federal Labor to increase their position to a minimum 10 days in the national employment standards.
"The reality is 800,000 workers have or will experience sexual or family violence during their career. There is no way you can say this is not a workplace issue that requires a workplace response."
Unions NSW secretary Mark Morey said 10 days of paid domestic leave "is an overdue reform and one that we expect state and federal Labor to fully embrace".
"Women must maintain financial independence and job security when they are dealing with domestic violence," he said.
Federal Labor spokesman for employment Brendan O'Connor said "Labor is always open to considering suggestions".
"But our focus is to seek to get the Turnbull government to match our commitment to five days paid domestic violence leave," he said.
"Back in 2015, Labor announced we would legislate for five days of paid family violence leave in the National Employment Standard – the Turnbull government opposes Labor on this issue, and this is unacceptable."
Early this month, a full bench of the Fair Work Commission took the "preliminary view" that while provisions for family and domestic violence leave are necessary, it rejected a union application for 10 days of leave to be covered under all modern awards for all employees.
The Australian Industry Group welcomed the decision, saying that employers have different capacities to provide support to employees who experience domestic violence in their personal lives and that a "one-size-fits-all" approach is not appropriate.
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said it wants balance in the drafting of a new unpaid leave entitlement to ensure employers are still able to effectively manage their workforce. It says existing leave entitlements and flexible working arrangements are already available to employees experiencing domestic violence.
Sam, a domestic violence worker in Western Sydney who will address the ALP conference this weekend, said her service received about 150 domestic violence referrals each week from police.
She said finding safe alternative housing, getting medical treatment and police assistance takes time.
"There is an expectation that women would access their personal leave," she said.
"Many of the women we see need to obtain safe housing, set their children up in a new school if they relocate and attend court often on multiple occasions."
A Federal government spokesman said it respects the independence of the Fair Work Commission, which is yet to reach a final decision on domestic violence leave.
"The government will await the FWC's final decision before determining what further measures may be appropriate to better support women who are victims of domestic violence," the spokesman said.
This article was written by Anna Patty and has been copied from here.