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March 09, 2016

Malcolm Turnbull’s claim that he cares about women and working families has been exposed for the lie it is by news that domestic violence leave provisions are being stripped away from working parents.

Thanks to Malcolm Turnbull’s Australian Public Sector bargaining framework policy, workers are losing domestic violence leave and other family friendly provisions. This will directly affect the pay and conditions of women.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, one in six Australian women have experienced physical or sexual violence from a current or former partner.

The trauma of domestic and family violence is often compounded by workplace pressures and financial uncertainty.

Once again this government’s rhetoric is in complete contrast with its actions.

Malcolm Turnbull and his Minister for Employment and Women Michaelia Cash like to talk about removing the barriers that hinder women in the workforce, but the Government’s policies are doing the very opposite.

The Government’s bargaining framework currently makes it mandatory for agencies to cut conditions out of enterprise agreements.

The framework also makes clear there can be no enhancements made to agreements.

Domestic violence leave has been viewed as an enhancement to the workplace conditions of Commonwealth public service workers.

Stripping rights and conditions is an appalling way to treat employees, particularly when it comes on top of the job cuts and pay freezes which are being imposed on the hard working public service by the Abbott-Turnbull Government.

Malcolm Turnbull must be judged by what he does for workers, not what he says.

What he is doing is cutting wages under the guise of cost savings; and cutting conditions to make people in the public service work longer and harder.  

A Shorten Labor Government will make domestic and family violence leave a universal workplace right, to further support those suffering family and domestic violence in our community.

The Prime Minister must direct his Minister for Employment to make changes to the Government’s workplace bargaining policy.

Labor’s approach to a workplace bargaining policy in government would be very different to the current Liberal approach.

We believe in a productive and affordable public service and we will have an approach to enterprise bargaining that actually improves the capability of frontline staff.