By Caitlyn Gribbin.
Mandating a national standard for 10 days of paid domestic violence leave would be “another cost” to Australia’s economy, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says.
The Victorian and Queensland premiers are pushing for a national agreement on the issue, but state leaders delayed making a decision when they met with the Prime Minister in Canberra on Friday.
Senator Cormann told Sky News the Federal Government was already investing in combating domestic violence and a paid leave program would be expensive.
“We just believe it’s another cost on our economy that will have an impact on our international competitiveness,” Senator Cormann said.
“These are matters my good friend and colleague [Employment Minister] Michaelia Cash has addressed in detail.
“It’s not something that we are attracted to.”
The Fair Work Commission is considering whether paid domestic violence leave should be included in all modern awards, and the Council of Australian Governments is expected to revisit the issue once the decision is made.
Senator Cormann argued the Government was already spending money in the area and warned against domestic violence policies that have “counter-productive consequences”.
“Arguably the Turnbull Government is providing the strongest investment ever in addressing domestic violence,” he said.
“But it’s a matter of making sure that you get the balance right and that you pursue policy settings that don’t have counter-productive consequences potentially.”
Senator Cormann said those consequences were “obviously the risk” of a paid leave policy, but when asked to explain further, deferred to his colleague.
“I will let Michaelia Cash to take you through the ins and outs of it. I’m sure that she’ll be very happy to do so,” he said.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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