Couple get Divorced Twice

Already married couple who wed again overseas divorced twice after second island wedding

AN already married couple who wed again overseas as “bachelor and spinster” eight years after first tying the knot have now been divorced twice in a year.

As the sun set over the palm trees on an idyllic Pacific island, the Family Court heard “Ms Lieu’ and “Mr Antcliff” — court given pseudonyms — married a second time before a priest and family.

It was a stark contrast to their earlier Melbourne marriage, which Ms Lieu kept secret from her family and Mr Antcliff’s family only found out about later.

Six months after their beachside vows the couple’s relationship broke down and less than two years after the romantic ceremony the couple filed for a double divorce.

The Federal Circuit Court last year granted their wish for marriage one but refused to do so for marriage two due to concerns about its validity.

Ms Lieu then applied to the Family Court to have the island marriage nullified, declared invalid, or, if it was deemed valid, for a divorce.

A family lawyer from the island nation told the court it is not an offence under that country’s law to marry a spouse, even though the couple had claimed to be single at the time.

The lawyer said the “bachelor and spinster” declaration may be explained by the forms the couple filled out requiring them to nominate their “status” from the options “bachelor/spinster/widower/widow/divorced”. She said this inaccuracy would not be sufficient to make the marriage invalid in that country.

As in Australia, marriage on the island is void if either party is already married to someone else or has not given real consent because they did not understand the nature of the ceremony.

Justice Garry Watts rejected Ms Lieu’s claim she believed the island wedding was just a religious ceremony, finding she knowingly signed the registry documents, and, as they were not marrying some other person, he found the marriage was valid under the island’s laws.

Had the couple sealed their second marriage under Australian palm trees, Justice Watts said the union likely would be invalid as our laws forbid an already properly married couple from signing a second marriage certificate, although no penalty is given.

However, with our Marriage Act silent on the validity of second marriages abroad, Justice Watts found the island wedding must also be recognised here under international conventions and so dismissed Ms Lieu’s application for a decree of nullity or invalidity.

More of this news Source: Peter Mickelburough –

If you have any enquiries with regards to Divorce or any relating to Family Law, please don’t hesitate to contact Family Legal immediately. We are an Accredited Family Law Specialist. We have handled hundreds of Divorce applications and we will be able to provide you with all the legal advice you need to more forward. Call: 1300 388 298 or Email: for FREE initial consultation.

Victoria: Family violence 10-year plan

Family violence: Victorian Government releases 10-year plan

The Victorian Government has released a 10-year plan in response to the state’s Royal Commission into Family Violence, which will include law reforms to prioritise the safety of victims over the privacy of perpetrators.

In March this year, after more than a year of hearings, the royal commission handed down 227 recommendations, saying all parts of the domestic violence system were overwhelmed.

The Government vowed to honour all of those recommendations, including introducing a 10-year-plan.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the changes would mean women were not forced to choose between safety and the streets.

“That takes our total investment in providing the secure housing that women and children fleeing family violence require and need to more than $600 million,” he said.

Family violence campaigner and former Australian of the Year Rosie Batty said all Victorians had a responsibility to put an end to abuse.

“To women and children who may be living in fear, know that you are courageous, strong and you are not responsible for the violence committed against you and you have a right to feel safe,” she said.

“To all Victorians, we all need to speak out, all need to be responsible for ending family violence.”

The plan will include:

A statewide information point to assist with risk assessment and management for medium to high-risk families
A network of at least 17 support and safety hubs across Victoria, where victims can access support
A Victoria Police family violence centre to “increase police capability to deal with the complexity and volume of family violence cases they respond to”
A new digital system for police referrals to family violence services to replace the current fax based system
Law reform to remove a perpetrator’s right to consent to their information being shared
Creating a “trust zone” of organisations who can share information
Changing the bail act to require decision makers to take into account family violence risk
Making family violence intervention orders more victim friendly, by including children of applicants giving courts stronger powers to make interim orders and strike out appeals
Placing specialist family violence workers in mental health and alcohol and drug services

It comes seven months after the Government announced $572 million as a “first step” to deliver on 65 royal commission’s recommendations.

Domestic Violence Victoria praises 10-year plan

Chief executive of Victoria’s peak body for domestic violence services for women and children, Fiona McCormack, said she had seen the plan and believed it would significantly strengthen the system.

“The support and safety hubs are going to allow for information to be shared with relevant agencies at a time when women and children are assessed as at risk and this is going to mean that we’re able to intervene,” she said.

“Specialist courts are significant, this has been also something that’s been missing because women will report that they go through the court system completely at a loss about what’s happening, and what will happen.

“There’s not the support in place, there’s certainly not the risk assessment that’s carried through across the system to the courts.”

Ms McCormack also praised the Government for adopting interim and long-term targets for the community to judge their progress on.

“It’s introducing measures to which it can hold itself to account, which is significant. It says this is a government really serious about tackling the issue of family violence, it’s an extraordinary thing,” she said.

More of this news Source: Loretta Florance and Jean Edwards – The ABC News

If you have been a victim of Domestic Violence or you know someone who is, please don’t hesitate to contact Family Legal immediately. We are an Accredited Family Law Specialist. We have successfully handled family law cases and we can provide you with all the legal advice you need. Call: 1300 388 298 or Email: for FREE initial consultation.

Newly accredited specialist lawyers benefit legal aid clients

1Victoria Legal Aid facilitates the delivery of quality legal services to low-income and disadvantaged clients by running a study support program for lawyers seeking accreditation through the Law Institute of Victoria specialisation scheme.

Specialist accreditation recognises lawyers who have demonstrated superior knowledge, experience and proficiency in a particular area of law.

This year we assisted lawyers from our in-house practice, community legal centres and private practitioners who do legally aided work to apply for specialist accreditation in criminal and children’s law.

We congratulate the 23 new criminal lawyer specialists supported by our specialisation study program. They include nine lawyers from Victoria Legal Aid’s in-house practice:

  • Adam Maloney and Siva Kandasamy, Dandenong
  • Xavier Farelly and Belinda Northey, Warrnambool
  • Tim McCulloch and Anoushka Jeronimous, Criminal Law Melbourne
  • Tamsin Mildenhall, Sunshine
  • Anthony Pyne and Raph De Vietri, Chambers.

The 14 criminal specialists from private practice and community legal centres include:

  • David Barrese, David Barrese and Associates
  • Nelson Brown, Paul Vale Criminal Law
  • Linh Cao, Ann Valos Criminal Law
  • Melanie Rudolphus, Ann Valos, Criminal Law
  • Adrian Lewin, Emma Turnbull Lawyers Pty Ltd
  • Damian McNally, Michael J Gleeson and Associates
  • Glenn Thexton, Thexton Lawyers
  • Stephen Peterson, Stephen Peterson Lawyers, Morwell
  • Tessa Theocharous, Kurnai Legal Practice, Morwell
  • Kiernan Celestina, Fogarty Lawyers, Warrnambool
  • Nicholas Rolfe, Nicholas Rolfe and Associates, Echuca
  • Amanda McAnuff, Eastern Community Legal Centre
  • Jill Prior, Law and Advocacy Centre for Women
  • Laura Heffes, Justice Connect.

Our in-house legal practice now has 36 criminal, 11 family,16 children’s, one immigration and two administrative law specialists.

Executive Director Legal Practice Katie Miller said the earning of specialist accreditation benefited both the client and Victoria Legal Aid.

‘Accredited specialisation promotes quality representation for legal aid clients while also providing an opportunity for practitioners to consolidate their legal knowledge, update their legal skills and advance their career,’ said Katie.

To achieve their success, the new specialists not only devoted hours of study, after work and on weekends, but also supported each other, generously sharing their notes and knowledge.

Special thanks go to the advocates from Victoria Legal Aid’s Chambers and the Victorian Bar who delivered a comprehensive range of professional legal education lectures and Saturday study intensives as part of our study program. The specialisation candidates appreciated the time, expert knowledge and practical advice offered.

Our Professional Support team will provide study support for lawyers undertaking specialisation in family law in 2017.

Source: Victoria Legal Aid

Bill Shorten: propose family violence law reforms

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to propose family violence law reforms ahead of White Ribbon Day

FOR the first 13 years of her life, Emma Husar was forced to watch her always-drunk father physically abuse her mother.

Her dad was the son of a WWII German soldier who was frequently violent towards his own wife and seven children.

“Whilst the blows that landed on my mother during my childhood didn’t land on me physically, they may as well have,” the Labor MP told parliament through tears on Wednesday.

“The trauma inflicted was the same. I recall it vividly and in great detail.”

Ms Husar, in a powerful speech on family violence, said each episode ended the same — her father would apologise and promise to be different. But that would only last a short while.

One night, he threw the family dinner at a wall.

“That stain remained on the wall for a very long time, but the stain in my heart lingered much longer.”

Her mother would bundle both her and her sister into the car and fled to refuges in Sydney’s west, but after so many incidences her father found out where they were.

They were then forced to go to hotels above pubs.

One night, when in a hurry to escape, her father removed and smashed the car’s distributor cap — rendering it useless and the trio trapped. “The police fetched us this time,” she said.

“I still remember sitting in the police station well into the early hours of the morning and the officers of Penrith police giving us pink milk while we waited.”

Like many women, her mum returned home.

She eventually left, but not before one last terrible incident.

“There were 13 police cars the last time physical violence affected my childhood, but this was the end of physical violence once and for all.”

Ms Husar revealed that, for the past 16 years of her life, domestic violence has continued to affect her as a grown woman with her own children.
She thanked Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and the Labor caucus and staff for their support and understanding.

“For many years I was embarrassed and I was ashamed,” she said. “I know that I shouldn’t be, but I am. I hope that today I have lent my voice, my story, my passion for advocating for change to the choir of the White Ribbon movement to stand up, speak out and to act.”

Mr Shorten said he was proud of remarkable women like Ms Husar.

More of this news Source: Claire Bickers – AAP & News Corp Australia Network

If you have been a victim of Domestic Violence or you know someone who is, please don’t hesitate to contact Family Legal immediately. We are an Accredited Family Law Specialist. We have successfully handled hundreds of similar cases and we have the experience to provide you with all the legal advice you need. Call: 1300 388 298 or Email: for FREE initial consultation.

Doctor Chamari Liyanage Appeals to stay in Australia

Doctor Chamari Liyanage, who killed abusive husband with mallet, appeals to Peter Dutton to stay in Australia

A Sri Lankan-born doctor who bludgeoned her husband to death with a mallet after years of abuse is appealing to the Immigration Minister to allow her to stay in Australia after serving her sentence.

Dr Chamari Liyanage is serving a four-year prison term in Greenough Regional Prison after being convicted of the manslaughter of fellow doctor Dinendra Athukorala at their home in the West Australian town of Geraldton in June 2014.

She was acquitted of the more serious charge of murder and has been eligible to apply for parole since June.

Her application for parole is due to be heard early next year but if granted, she is likely to be moved into immigration detention and could be deported because her visa was cancelled whilst behind bars.

In an appeal to Peter Dutton obtained by 7.30, Liyanage said she took full responsibility for what had happened and there was little to no chance of her reoffending.

“I would also like you to consider my personal circumstances leading to the offence,” she wrote.

“I was a victim of long term abusive and violent relationship and I believe that my judgement had been affected and considerably impaired at the time.”

Liyanage said she feared for her safety if deported to Sri Lanka.

“I am afraid and concern (sic) about safety of my family in Sri Lanka if I have to return home,” she wrote.

“My presence, media publicity and stigma associated with this case will bring hostilities towards my family … I am worried that will jeopardise the lives of my family.”

Liyanage lived ‘double life’

During her trial, the court heard the couple’s five-year marriage was defined by the “worst kind” of escalating sexual, physical and emotional abuse.

Liyanage’s immigration lawyer, Alisdair Putt, said her client was living a “double life”.

“On the one hand, she was a very well-respected and intelligent medical practitioner who worked extremely hard on behalf of patients often in a life-saving role,” he said.

“But on the other hand, she was part of a very violent and abusive manipulative relationship with her former partner that did cause considerable stress.”

Even her closest friends had little clue about what was going on behind the closed doors of her Geraldton home.

Di Budge said she was shocked when she learned the details of her friend’s marriage.

“The thing that caused the biggest shame — he used to wake her in the early hours for his Skype sessions, these websites where they exchange videos, porn videos,” she said.

“And he used to trade videos of her with whatever he was looking at. He was into kiddy porn, doggy porn.”

The court heard Athukorala kept 13 terabytes of encrypted child exploitation and bestiality images.

More of this news Source: Lauren Day – The ABC News

If you have been a victim of Domestic Violence or you know someone who is, we recommend you to contact Family Legal immediately. We are an Accredited Family Law Specialist. We have the experience to provide you with all the legal advice you need to move forward on your case. Call: 1300 388 298 or Email: for FREE initial consultation.

South Australia: Carer Arrested on Child Abuse

Another SA carer arrested on child abuse charges

Another review of South Australia’s scandal-plagued child protection system has been ordered after the arrest of a residential care worker who has been accused of abusing young children.

Education and Child Development Minister Susan Close confirmed the arrest of the man and says while she can’t comment on the individual case an independent legal firm has been engaged to look into the department’s employment and screening processes.

The man was believed to have been among 25 carers “red-flagged” and suspended for a time after a 2014 inquiry into the children protection system but, along with several others, later cleared and allowed to return to work.

The arrest comes just months after a royal commission into child protection in South Australia declared the system was in crisis and called for sweeping changes.

That inquiry was launched following the horrific crimes of Families SA child care worker Shannon McCoole who is serving a 35-year sentence for abusing several children in his care and for also operating a global child pornography website.

Ms Close said as soon as the man at the centre of the most recent allegations was arrested on Saturday he was directed away from the workplace.

She said the department was co-operating fully with the police investigation and was also working to contact the families of the alleged victims.

“Given the allegations that have been made, we have undertaken a review of our employment practices. That review is ongoing,” the minister told reporters on Sunday.

Police said the Barossa man aged in his 30s was charged with two counts of aggravated indecent assault and two counts of persistent exploitation of a child.

He was refused police bail and will appear in the Elizabeth Magistrates Court on Monday.

The latest arrest also comes after a significant revamp in the wake of the royal commission with the state government establishing a new child protection department, separate from education.

The department’s recently appointed chief executive Cathy Taylor said she was “tragically disappointed” by the new developments.

“Any suggestion that a child had been harmed, that’s the most concerning aspect,” she said.

More of this news Source: Tim Dornin – Yahoo7

If you have been a a victim of Child Abuse or you know someone who is, please don’t hesitate to contact Family Legal immediately. We are an Accredited Family Law and Criminal Law Specialist. We have the experience to provide you with all the legal steps you need to move forward on your case. Call: 1300 388 298 or Email: for FREE initial consultation.

Does marrying young lead to divorce?

“DID they really give it their best shot?” There’s a stigma attached to being a young divorcee. And Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marriage to basketballer Kris Humphries, the 55 hours Britney Spears spent lawfully bound to childhood friend Jason Alexander, and Nicky Hilton’s three months of wedlock to businessman Todd Meister didn’t do Gen Y’s reputation for commitment any favours.

But the stats don’t lie: the younger we marry, the more likely it is to go pear-

shaped. Census data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows young married couples have the highest rate of divorce. The data also tells us most people tend to part after four years, and divorces with dependent children have decreased significantly, indicating married couples without children are “getting out early”.

Experts say bowing out of a rocky relationship sooner rather than later has its benefits. Dr Belinda Hewitt, from the University of Queensland, studies marital separation and says it can influence future relationships positively.

Often, transition times in relationships are when the wheels fall off

“It’s harder to be divorced older. Studies show you’re far more likely to re-partner successfully if you’re younger when you first divorce,” explains Hewitt. “By your late 30s, most people are taken — or are likely to have had a divorce or children. That makes re-partnership more difficult.”

Marrying in your 20s is risky. Hewitt says under-25s who wed or live together are five times more likely to break up. “The parts of our brains that control our ability to think things over, not be reactive, not engage in risky behaviour, aren’t fully developed for a lot of people until their mid-20s,” she says. “And most people aren’t financially ready [to marry] before 25 — they’re completing schooling or entering work.”

Relationships Australia Queensland manager Valerie Holden says young couples try counselling during times of change. “Often, transition times in relationships are when the wheels fall off,” she says. “For example, the birth of a child, a new home, changing jobs.”

New technology also plays a role in relationship stress. “Social media plays a big part in trust issues,” she says. It’s hard when, say, “the ex-girlfriend is still able to creep into [a couple’s] lives”.

Divorce in young people, however, doesn’t necessarily create a bitter feud. Separation specialist Alvia Turney from Act4Tomorrow says young couples tend to split more amicably than older people. “They’re definitely more accepting if the relationship isn’t working,” says Turney. “Especially those without children; they want to cut their losses and move on.”

Turney has assisted in separations for couples as young as 23, and with marriages as short as eight weeks. She says older generations are more likely to stay in troubled relationships: “Older people often judge younger people, thinking they don’t try hard enough. But why waste a moment of your life?”

At the age of 22, Megan Luscombe married her long-term boyfriend because “it’s what people expected”.

Coming from a big family, Luscombe says that, despite there being a lack of commonality and sexual chemistry in the relationship, she got hitched because all her siblings had done so at around the same age. And her boyfriend was 10 years older, adding an extra pressure for her to walk down the aisle.

“I didn’t really have the guts to speak up about how I was feeling,” the 29-year-old Melburnian says. “I just followed what I thought I should do and didn’t have anyone asking if this is what I actually wanted to do.”

But after nine years together and less than two years of marriage, Luscombe came out to her husband, whom she says was “more of a best mate”.

“I identify as lesbian,” she says. “This is something my former partner and I always talked about — he knew I’d been with women. He had this running joke that I was ‘probably a lesbian’. I think it was a coping mechanism for him — it must be quite confronting to be with someone who hadn’t always been with people the same sex as you.”

Luscombe says she should have faced facts earlier, but it was too frightening. “It took me a lot of time to get the courage to actually do it. But when it did eventually happen, it was very amicable. I was very fortunate; he was amazing and said, ‘You need to do what makes you happy. You shouldn’t live a half-life.’”

Her fears around divorce were soon superseded by fears of coming out. “My family were awesome … [but] I lost some friends. People weren’t able to say what they were thinking, but I heard things. There might’ve been homophobia.”

Luscombe doesn’t see their split as a failure. “The divorce was the first time I was calling the shots and doing what I wanted to do,” she says. “It was a part of my life I have fond memories of — I learnt how I wanted to be in a relationship.”

Now engaged to her girlfriend, whom she met two years after her separation, Luscombe says she’ll wed again if same-sex marriage is legalised in Australia.

Leea Gilmour and her boyfriend of three years were more like friends than lovers. The 34-year-old, who married 10 years ago, says the pair made one another laugh, but lacked a sexual connection.

“We always had this great non-physical relationship,” says Gilmour, who lives on the Sunshine Coast. “I knew marrying wasn’t the right thing, but it was like a runaway train. It’s telling that we didn’t have sex on our wedding night. I wanted to, but I couldn’t. Little things he’d been doing had been putting me off so much that I couldn’t even stand to look at him.”

Her husband’s debt was a source of arguments, too, and the relationship worsened when Gilmour told her husband she had an eating disorder. “I said, ‘I’ve had bulimia for nine months.’ He said, ‘F*cking hell, Leea, you’re a pain in my arse.’ I felt so alone.”

Then an opportunity for the couple to work overseas as crew on the TV series Survivor filled her with hope. “That was exciting, and when we got back we were going to start trying for kids.” But their new life overseas didn’t save the pair.

While abroad, Gilmour suggested a trial separation, but it was all or nothing for her husband, so they agreed to split after one year of marriage.

“I thought, I’m about to break his heart but I can’t pretend to have a marriage for the rest of my life based on friendship but no respect. If I think I can go without sex for the rest of my life, I’m kidding myself.

“Divorce is easy; it’s a decision, a year and a day, and a signature. The separation of your life — your house, your stuff, your travel memories, your photographs — that’s what can destroy you. You think you can’t do this by yourself, but you can.”

Gilmour has now found love with a new partner: “I have the greatest relationship. You couldn’t have told me when I was breaking up with my husband that it would be possible.”

After a year of marriage, Susan Hong began to consider calling time sooner rather than later. She’d married in her late 20s to a man she’d met through friends.

“Our values were what gelled us together,” says Hong, now 31 and living in Melbourne. As both were from traditional Asian families, they didn’t live together during their four-year relationship — but she says that wasn’t the problem. Rather, their shared goals shifted. “We talked about kids and our views changed. I wanted to adopt as well as having my own, but after we married, he changed his mind about adoption.”

This caused arguments that, along with their stubborn personalities, led to Hong’s decision to end the relationship. “It was a surprise for him,” she says. “We tried counselling, but I didn’t think he was being honest during the session. If you’re not going to put it on the line, there’s no point going through therapy.”

So four months after Hong said she wanted to leave, her husband agreed to separate. “We’d only just got married, there were no kids, we hadn’t bought a house … it was very clean. The best time to do it was now, rather than wait.”

Announcing the split was tough. “When you consider everyone put so much time and effort into the wedding, and all the money …” says Hong. “Coming from a traditional, strict family, I knew my parents would never go for it.”

More of this article Source: Kellie Scott – The Daily Telegraph

Darren Ashley trial: Domestic Violence Paperwork Lost

Darren Ashley trial: Police lost domestic violence order paperwork for alleged murder victim

A non-contact order for a woman who was allegedly murdered by her partner was delayed because police lost the paperwork, a Darwin murder trial has heard.

Darren Ashley has pleaded not guilty to the murder of his partner Kirsty in Alice Springs in May 2012.

The prosecution allege he stabbed her to death while she was talking over the phone to her stepdaughter at her brother’s house.

Ms Ashley went to the Alice Springs police station 10 days before she died to report an assault and seek a domestic violence order against her partner of 16 years.

Sergeant Trent Berry told the court he issued an interim order preventing Darren Ashley from approaching his partner, but the paperwork to seek a permanent order from a court was lost, and the interim order was cancelled.

Senior constable Dean Becker told the court he served a new non-contact order to Ashley the day before the crown alleges he killed his partner.

Darren Ashley threatened to kill himself: statement

The statement Ms Ashley gave police in was read out in court, in which Ms Ashley described how her estranged partner had taken their separation.

“He has been calling me and texting me. He has made threats to kill himself,” the statement said.

“He said if I didn’t talk to him I wouldn’t see my son.”

Ms Ashley said in the police statement she went to visit Darren and her son at their property out of Alice Springs, but walked off after an argument with her estranged partner.

The statement said he followed her when she tried to leave.

“He put his hand up and grabbed me around the throat and tried to push me to the ground.

“I could feel his hand getting tighter around my throat.”

More of this news Source: Steven Schubert – The ABC News

If you have been a victim of Domestic Violence or you know anyone who is, please don’t hesitate to contact Family Legal immediately. We are an Accredited Family Law Specialist. We have the experience to provide you with all the legal steps you need to move forward on your case. Call: 1300 388 298 or Email: for FREE initial consultation.

Melbourne: Domestic Violence on Muslim community

Domestic violence: Understanding laws key to helping families in Melbourne’s Muslim community

Twenty Muslim women have been given a crash legal course on family violence, family law, the courts and dealing with police in the hope they will help their Melbourne communities better understand their rights.

In what is thought to be an Australian first, the three-month program, overseen by the Women’s Legal Service Victoria, gave the women information on identifying legal issues and accessing relevant services for help.

“This can mean that a legal issue doesn’t end up in a crisis and that women are safe and children are safe and that they are financially secure,” the legal centre’s Eila Pourasgheri said.

“I think it’s very important for communities that can be a bit more isolated or not connected in with the mainstream services. Having these women leaders as kind of like nodes in to the mainstream is really important.”

The program brought together Muslim women from Pakistan, Cambodia, Eritrea and Indonesia.

Family violence ‘not just physical abuse’

Among the participants was Kauthar Abdulalim, 24, a student in Islamic Studies and entrepreneur who runs her own tour company.

“The biggest surprise for me was actually defining what family violence is — because sometimes we think it’s just physical abuse. What I realise is it’s much more than that — economical, financial abuses,” she said.

She said the program had given her a better understanding of her own community as well as the law.

“One of the main things is the connections within the community and outside,” she said.

Former teacher Zufaidah Juri, 45, said the connections she had made were “amazing, something that is unheard of” for women Muslim leaders.

She said she had found people to assist her in running a funeral course to address the population boom in Melbourne’s west and the growing need for culturally-appropriate burial services.

More of this news Source: Karen Percy – The ABC News

If you have any enquiries with regards to Domestic Violence or any relating to Family Law, please don’t hesitate to contact Family Legal. We are an Accredited Family Law Specialist. We have successfully handled Family Law cases and we can provide you with all the legal steps to move you forward on your case. Call: 1300 388 298 or Email: for FREE initial consultation.

Proposed 10 days paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave

Australian workers should be given 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave, the ACTU says, launching a claim in the Fair Work Commission.

Millions of employees experiencing domestic or family violence in Australia could be eligible for 10 days paid leave if a case succeeds at the Fair Work Commission.

The ACTU launched the case in Melbourne on Monday, calling for all workers covered by award rates to be given 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave.

It would mean a national approach to cover more than two million workers, the ACTU says.

Already Victoria, South Austraila and Queensland offer family and domestic violence leave.

ACTU President Ged Kearney says paid domestic violence leave could save lives and make it easier for victims to stay in work.

Being able to attend court hearings, support centres or even given time to move from an abusive household would be extremely helpful to women and victims.

An employer would have to keep an employee’s domestic violence experiences confidential.

The employee might have to provide evidence of the need to use the leave, which could include producing a police document, doctor’s certificate or family violence support service note.

The Australian Industry Group is appearing at the hearing on behalf of employers and says paid family violence leave should be dealt with at “the enterprise level – not in the award safety net”.

The ACTU wants casual workers to be given 10 days paid leave, something AI Group says would be “unfair and unworkable”.

Especially for retail and hospitality industries that have a high portion of casual workers.

Ms Kearney says employers have exaggerated the cost of leave.

“The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry have costed it at 30 per cent of the work force taking all of the leave every year at full time when we know that the stats actually show people experience domestic violence once in their life,” Ms Kearney said.

About 100 women and union members rallied outside the Fair Work Commission on Monday before the hearing began.

More of this news Source: Australian Associated Press

If you have been a victim of Domestic Violence or just have enquiries about the topic, please contact Family Legal immediately. We are an Accredited Family Law Specialist. We have the experience to provide you with all the legal steps needed for your case. Call: 1300 388 298 or Email: for FREE initial consultation.