Compelled by the sobering statistics around domestic violence and women with disability, Greenacres is introducing up to 10 days paid domestic violence leave for all of its 540 employees.

While one in four Australian women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, a woman with a disability is 40% more likely to be a victim than a woman without a disability1.

Greenacres CEO, Chris Christodoulou said the organisation was introducing the leave to ensure employees experiencing domestic violence had the time to use medical services, find safe accommodation and seek help from the police and social workers.

I sincerely hope that no employee of Greenacres will ever have to take domestic violence leave but the statistics show that will probably not be the case, Chris said.

We would not want any of our employees, whether they have a disability or not, to feel they had to stay in a violent situation because they could not get the time off work that they needed,

While there will obviously be a cost to providing domestic violence leave, we feel that the cost of not providing this support will be far greater in the long run. The safety and well-being of our employees is our number one priority.

Natalie Lang, NSW/ACT Secretary of the Australian Services Union (ASU) who has been pushing for domestic violence leave to become a universal right in Australia, will be speaking to Greenacres staff at an employee forum on Friday.

The ASU applauds Greenacres for ensuring that all of its employees have access to domestic violence leave, Natalie said.

“The union movement has already negotiated for over 1.6 million workers to have access to paid domestic violence leave but we are fighting to have it made a universal right” Natalie said.

“As the frontline workers in the community sector, our members see first-hand the impact domestic violence has on women and families and we know that universal paid domestic violence leave will save lives.