Domestic violence victims' workplace protections legislation comes into effect 1 April
Fri 29 Mar 2019
The Domestic Violence—Victims' Protection Act 2018 comes into effect on 1 April 2019. The Act amends the Holidays Act 2003, Employment Relations ...
The Domestic Violence—Victims' Protection Act 2018 comes into effect on 1 April 2019.
The Act amends the Holidays Act 2003, Employment Relations Act 2000 and Human Rights Act 1993.
- Employees who are victims of domestic violence can access up to 10 days of paid leave separate from any other form of leave under the Holidays Act 2003.
- Employees who are victims of domestic violence can request a short-term working variation to their working arrangement which could include changes to hours of work, location and duties of work.
- The law prohibits an employee from being treated adversely in their employment on the grounds that they are, or are suspected to be, a person affected by domestic violence.
- Employees will be able to raise a dispute if they believe their employer unreasonably refused a request made under the new provisions.
The Human Rights Commission provides an Introduction to Family violence, Human Rights, and other law.
For background information about the legislation see our previous news story Legislation on workplace protections for domestic violence victims passes.
Resources, training, policies and advice for employers and workplaces
Previous versions of the legislation considered mandatory workplace policies related to domestic violence, but this was not included in the final legislation. Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway said:
“It’s good for employers to have a family violence policy so that staff and managers know what to expect, and how to respond if their colleagues are affected by violence. For example, temporarily changing a person’s work schedule can help protect them and their co-workers from abusive calls, emails or visits.”
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has an online Workplace Policy Builder tool that includes a family violence policy. The tool provides a step by step guide to create policies for your workplace.
The Human Rights Commission and several New Zealand employers launched the website www.businessworkingtoendfamilyviolence.co.nz in 2018. While the policy template and toolkit do not reflect the new legislation, the website provides helpful research and advice.
The organisations listed below also provide support and templates to help with developing policies.
Shine's DVFREE offers a range of services including consulting on policy development, awareness raising activity and training for staff.
Women's Refuge's Responsive Workplaces offers consultation, advice, support, guidance, and expert knowledge to assist organisations to develop policies.
White Ribbon has a Business Accreditation programme that involves policy, training and participation in violence prevention.
The It's Not OK campaign provides resources and information for businesses on supporting victims and responding to perpetrators.