Aldi staff will be entitled to 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave under a new policy revealed by the German supermarket giant late last week.
In addition, affected workers will be offered $250 for incidental expenses incurred as a result of family or domestic violence, and Aldi says it will help employees change work locations if necessary.
What the experts say
The new policy has been welcomed by women’s support services, including Karen Willis from the Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia.
“Through their policy, Aldi is making a strong statement that they are here to help any employee experiencing this terrible crime,” she said.
“The options available as part of this policy are exemplary, assisting employees to access relevant support as they need it.”
One in six women and one in 20 men over the age of 15 have experienced violence by a partner in Australia, according to figures from ABS.
Earlier this year, the Fair Work Commission ruled that all employers must offer at least five days of unpaid domestic violence leave to workers.
But many businesses have decided to take their own initiative, and have implemented much more generous policies.
Last week, Westpac was praised for announcing it would be providing its employees with 20 days of paid family or domestic violence leave.
READ MORE: Westpac praised for diversity leave
Last month Adore Beauty founder Kate Morris moved to double the domestic violence leave available to her staff.
“We were trying to think of ways in which, as employers, we could move the needle for people in a really terrible situation,” Morris told SmartCompany.
“I genuinely hope no one on my team will ever be in a situation where they’d need to access the leave, but it’s about trying to do what you can to be supportive as an organisation.”
The bottom line
Industrial advocate says modern workplaces are recognising the need for more diverse leave policies that better suit the needs of their employees.
“Expect to see more of this,” he said. “Smart companies are realising that offering support in the area of family and domestic violence is not only an important and responsible thing to do from a social point of view, it is also a way to attract and retain good staff.
“Happy workers who feel safe and cared for, are productive workers.
“I have no doubt that Aldi’s new policy will be welcomed by staff, and make it a more attractive place where people will want to work.”
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