Central Highlands Mayor Cr Kerry Hayes has responded to The Services Union accusations that council is ‘all talk and no action’ when it comes to adopting a domestic and family violence leave policy.
The mayor said:
‘While my initial reaction would be to remonstrate with The Services Union for making such a public issue out of what is essentially a private and sensitive matter between an employer and its employees, I am willing to put forward the council’s position. That is:
‘Council has and always will take a public stand against domestic violence by supporting campaigns and local community support agencies.
‘We consider that our actions towards our employees are more powerful than any policy statement.
‘We deal with domestic violence and, in fact, any family-related crisis, on a case-by-case basis with our employees and offer a range of leave and support options to suit the circumstances.
‘Through our internal communication channels, our employees understand what support is available and how to access it.
‘In fact, we have just engaged Centacare to conduct domestic violence awareness information sessions for our staff.
‘We are well aware of the passage of the Industrial Relations Bill through the parliament and its provisions for domestic and family violence leave, which will come into effect when enacted.
‘However, this legislation will only reinforce our existing practices, ones that have been in place for some time.’