August 2018

The Domestic Violence—Victims’ Protection Bill is an omnibus bill that seeks to amend five Acts. It would:

  • add a definition of “domestic violence” and explain the definition of “victim of domestic violence” to the Domestic Violence Act 1995

  • provide for flexible working arrangements for victims of domestic violence in the Employment Relations Act 2000

  • amend the definition of “hazard” in the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to include the effects of domestic violence and to require workplaces to have policies in place

  • allow victims of domestic violence to request domestic violence leave, under the Holidays Act 2003

  • prohibit discrimination on the grounds of being a victim of domestic violence in the Human Rights Act 1993 and Employment Relations Act 2000.

For the Holidays Act, Domestic Violence Leave is treated similarly to Sick Leave in the regard that an employee needs to work 6 continuous months for the same employer. This needs to be on average 10 hours per week in that time, and no less than 1 hour per week or 40 hours per month in that time. 

An employee who meets this threshold can take up to 10 days paid leave for domestic violence leave, paid at the rate of relevant daily pay or average daily pay. 

 

Under the Employment Relations Act, this means than an employee can apply for flexible working arrangements for a period no greater than 2 months. Changes that an employee may ask for could include changes to their hours, days of work, location of work and any other additional terms that need varying.