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COUNTRY: New Zealand
In New Zealand, the Domestic Violence – Victims Protection Bill passed its third reading in Parliament. It aims to enhance legal protections in the workplace for people affected by domestic violence. The changes will come into effect on April 1, 2019.
Entitlement to domestic violence leaves
An employee may take domestic violence leave if the employee is a person affected by domestic violence (regardless of how long ago the domestic violence occurred, and even if the domestic violence occurred before the person became an employee). An employee is entitled to domestic violence leave after the employee has completed 6 months’ current continuous employment with the employer; or the employee has, over a period of 6 months, worked for the employer for:
- At least an average of 10 hours a week during that period; and
- No less than 1 hour every week during that period or no less than 40 hours in every month during that period.
However, an employer and employee may agree that the employee may take domestic violence leave in advance and in the case of domestic violence leave taken in advance, the amount of leave taken is to be deducted from the employee’s entitlement. An employee is not entitled to be paid for any domestic violence leave that has not been taken before the date on which the employee’s employment ends.
Duration of Leave
An employee may take up to 10 days’ domestic violence leave in each of the 12-month periods and cannot carry forward any domestic violence leave not taken in any of those 12-month periods.
Payment for Leave
An employer must pay an employee an amount that is equivalent to the employee’s relevant daily pay or average daily pay for each day of domestic violence leave taken by the employee that would otherwise be a working day for the employee. An employer must pay an employee for domestic violence leave in the pay that relates to the pay period in which the leave is taken.
Meaning of Person Affected by Domestic Violence
A person affected by domestic violence means a person who is one or both of the following:
- A person against whom any other person is inflicting, or has inflicted, domestic violence; and/or
- A person with whom there ordinarily or periodically resides a child against whom any other person is inflicting, or has inflicted domestic violence.