I wholeheartedly agree that there needs to be a change in the law that puts this recommendation into place. However, I was concerned to hear that this life changing recommendation was not in the committee report.
During the Labour Conference in September this year the Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, Dawn Butler, announced that the next Labour Government would protect all women. I am pleased that the next Labour Government will make sure that all employers have a domestic abuse employment policy and provide up to 10 days paid leave.
As you may know, domestic abuse is a hidden killer and remains at epidemic levels. The most recent survey, conducted by the Office of National Statistics shows that 1.2 million women have experienced domestic abuse in a year. The impact on the victim and those around them is devastating. We are seeing more happening in our communities and conviction rates are falling.
Employer have a duty of care to employees experiencing domestic abuse. This type of legislation can be done; employment laws have been introduced in the Philippines, Australia and most recently New Zealand, where victims have been granted the right to paid leave.
This crucial time will allow men and women to leave their abusive partner safely and get the help, protection and support they need knowing that their livelihood is secure. On average two women a week are murdered by a current or former abusive partner. These ten days could literally help save the lives of those women.
I can assure you that I will do whatever I can to push the government to put new legislation in place to help protect the lives of victims of domestic abuse.