Mr RAMSEY (Grey) (13:39): The government has introduced legislation regarding two weeks leave for domestic and family violence. I’d like to lay on the record that I am supportive of the concept, but I am not supportive of the concept that it should be funded by the employer. I think there is a whole lot of red tape around that that will be a great disincentive for employers to take on women and take on anybody they think may be in a domestic violence situation, particularly since the government has, against the recommendation of the Fair Work Commission, decided to extend it to casual employees as well. You can imagine what kind of burden this could be on a small employer—someone who employs one, two, three people—that they are now responsible for up to another 10 days leave a year.
The idea, of course, is that if anybody has to access this leave it should remain private. But I would say that in a small workplace it would be all but impossible to keep it private. The word spreads around. So I think it has the ability to actually have the opposite effect and to be a deterrent to people who want to apply for that particular kind of leave.
What is the difference between this entitlement and the paid parenting leave, which is clearly delineated as a non- employer expense and is being picked up by the taxpayer? I think this should be the same.