Challenges of the proposed "Domestic Violence Victims Protection Bill"


Published on 09 Aug 2018


As a proud Kiwi, reading the news about incidents of abuse and domestic violence is extremely sad. It is also not surprising to read that the Green Party is sponsoring a bill that aims to provide up to 10 days leave as needed for victims of domestic violence.

No one would challenge the intent of the proposed legislation and neither would a reasonable person consider that an abused person does not need leave to recover.

However, at face value this may present some challenges for an employer who at some stage could have been faced with a less than obvious case of abuse such as a case involving psychological abuse, intimidation or threats. It would seem fair to assume an abused employee would not feel like discussing the matter and would not want to relive an episode, and who would blame them, but equally the employer may not want to put the employee through that trauma again.

Thankfully, the select committee had thought to include a Proof of Domestic Violence section so employers are not put in a difficult position of having to challenge the genuineness of a claim when an employee has already endured enough suffering.

A further challenge is that the employer must maintain a record of all leave taken and in this case “domestic violence leave” would be recorded in the employee’s leave record. This also seems likely to be a sensitive matter for the employee.

The details are worth a read and can be found on the Parliamentary website found here:

https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/00DBHOH_BILL71935_1/domestic-violence-victims-protection-bill 

By Greg Cateley, HR Specialist

Ph: 027 266 9077