New Zealand has passed legislation granting victims of domestic violence 10 days paid leave. The bill, passed with 63 to 57 votes, is designed to allow domestic violence victims time to protect themselves, leave their partners, and find new homes while retaining income and employment. The only other country with similar national legislation is the Philippines, with its 2004 Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act providing 10 days special leave. Whether or not the law is widely applied and/or enforced in the Philippines is unknown.
With New Zealand having one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the developed world, and with police responding to domestic violence reports every 4 minutes, this policy certainly provides relief to people in need. While it is clear that victims of abuse should be supported while sorting personal issues, what remains unclear is what effect this policy will have on employers and businesses. What other larger and longer-term societal and economic effects might this legislation produce or contribute to?