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Family violence leave should be welfare sector’s responsibility, business groups say

Business groups want to see family violence leave offered through the welfare sector, not through the workplace relations system.

The federal government will introduce legislation this week to enshrine five days of unpaid leave in workplace agreements.

The Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer gave an emotional address in parliament today, calling for both sides of politics to tackle the issue of family violence.

She expressed her condolences over the murder of three children and their mother in Perth, saying the “any attempt to describe the horror” of the tragedy is “futile”.

Chief Executive of the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia (COSBOA) Peter Strong says the issue is essential to address but victims should access support through the welfare system.

“Our proposal was give the welfare sector the capacity to get leave pay from Centrelink for people that need it,” he tells John Stanley.

“The beauty of this, is it keeps it out of the workplace where people often don’t want to talk about their private lives, especially when it’s so difficult.”

He says the welfare sector are “the experts” and the “ones who can give advice”.

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