Victims of domestic violence are discriminated at work: Oz study

September 10th, 2010 - 6:43 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, Sept 10 (ANI): A survey has found that victims of domestic violence are often discriminated against by their bosses, as they are denied time off for medical and legal appointments, and even lose their jobs.

Support groups say that the practice will continue until anti-discrimination laws are changed to include specific provisions for victims of domestic violence.

Staff from Queensland’s Working Women’s Service described a series of cases of blatant discrimination, and other support services and advocacy groups, including the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse and the Public Sector Union have also voiced theirs.

Alana Heffernan, an industrial officer at the Working Women’s Service and a co-author of the paper, said the service regularly encountered employers who were unsupportive when made aware that an employee was a victim of domestic violence.

“There is a real lack of understanding and awareness that stable employment is crucial for victims of domestic violence because it provides the means for independence and to leave the abusive relationship,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Heffernan as saying.

The only solution, she said, was to amend anti-discrimination legislation to include specific provisions about victims of domestic violence.

“There is no legislative framework that specifically deals with unfair or less favourable treatment of employees who are victims of domestic violence,” she stated. (ANI)

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