26 Jul 2018

Domestic violence bill: Nats on wrong side of history - Greens

8:41 am on 26 July 2018

The Green Party MP whose domestic violence leave legislation was voted in yesterday says National will find itself on the wrong side of history for voting against the bill.

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Photo: VNP / Phil Smith

Jan Logie's Domestic Violence - Victims' Protection Bill gives victims up to 10 days paid leave per year. It passed in Parliament last night, 63 votes to 57, with only National and ACT voting against it.

Financial insecurity was often a significant barrier to people trying to leave abusive situations and the legislation offered them a pathway, Ms Logie said.

National supported the bill at first reading - with many of its MPs saying during the debate how proud they were to be backing it.

But they later withdrew their support.

National's Justice spokesperson Mark Mitchell said the bill would not stop a single domestic violence attack against a woman.

"The other thing is that we believe it will have perverse outcomes for women in the workplace.

"If the government really believed in this bill, really believed in what they were doing, then [they should] fund it - don't pass the costs on to small and medium-sized businesses."

Ms Logie said National's arguments were frustrating.

"We've got all of the evidence. We've had the economic modelling here and over in Australia where over two million workers are already covered by these provisions and all of it tells us that actually the cost is minimal.

"It is soon offset by the benefits to employers by improved productivity, reduced staff turnover and better retention."

Ms Logie said the bill included changes to the Human Rights Act to make it illegal to discriminate in an employment context for being a victim of domestic violence.

"So that addresses that stigma and when every single workplace has these protections and is saying, 'We've got your back,' then, actually, we are going to be reducing stigma."

The law comes into effect on 1 April, 2019.

Where to get help:

Women's Refuge: (0800 733 843)

It's Not OK (0800 456 450)

Shine: 0508 744 633

]http://www.victimsinfo.govt.nz/ Victim Support]: 0800 650 654

HELP Call 24/7 (Auckland): 09 623 1700, (Wellington): be 04 801 6655 - 0

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.