U-turn sees Govt support first stage Green Party bill for additional leave for domestic violence victims
The Government will support a Green Party bill to allow domestic violence victims an additional 10 days annual leave, through the first hurdle.
Justice Minister Amy Adams has announced the Government support, a U-turn on its previous stance, would at least see the bill to select committee.
The Government still had concerns about the bill, but Adams said it held enough merit for wider discussion, as part of the Government's domestic violence work.
"And we want to have the opportunity to discuss at select committee, what sort of support employers can add to that piece of work."
Prime Minister Bill English last month, said his would not support it. Employers could already offer specialised leave to domestic violence victims. While Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse had said the bill would be too costly to businesses.
That hadn't changed, said Adams.
"We still have the concerns about the bill as it's drafted, but we've had a look at it in the context of the wider piece of work than [Social Development Minister] Anne Tolley and I are leading around family violence, and how we can better support family violence victims.
"And as a part of that, we think it's worthwhile having a good constructive debate, at select committee."
Green Party social development spokeswoman Jan Logie said it was a welcome change from the Government.
"I was hoping. When victims support agencies, women's organisations, human rights organisations and business are all saying the want the discussion, I think the Government certainly would have been on the wrong side of things not to."
Arguments that it would cost too much were not backed up by research, Logie said.
"Actually, the research is really clear that domestic violence is costing business great staff and productivity now. And what this bill is about, is setting up a system to help mitigate that cost, so that they can keep great workers."
There was a chance the bill could have progressed without National Party support - Labour and Act had already confirmed their backing of the bill past its first hurdle.