The Domestic Violence Leave and Decent Work

The Domestic Violence Leave and Decent Work

The Domestic Violence Leave legislation marked another milestone in the efforts to promote decent work in New Zeeland fully. Domestic violence, in most cases, does not occur at the workplace, but it directly affects the productivity of the victims at work. Decent Work Agenda necessitates respect for individuals’ fundamental rights, including the rights of employees to work in a safe and environment and get decent remuneration. It also advocates for the respect of the mental and physical integrity of the workers during employment. Accordingly, Domestic Violence Leave legislation aims to promote respect for people’s fundamental rights, for instance, the right to health and the rights of workers such as safe working conditions.

The Domestic Violence Leave legislation offers employees new rights. It guarantees the workers at least ten days of paid domestic violence leave that is separate from the usual annual, bereavement, and sick leave. The act also provides the employees with the ability to negotiate for flexible short-term working arrangements of up to two months with the employer. Besides, the law expressly discourages the adverse treatment of domestic violence victims at the workplace due to their situation. Primarily, such treatment amounts to discrimination. Overall, it does not matter when the domestic violence occurred for the employees to enjoy these rights.

Domestic violence leave has positive impacts on the decent work agenda. One of the fundamental aspects of decent work agenda is to enhance a safe working environment for workers. Ferraro et al. (2015) argue that a safe and healthy environment entails both physical and objective health and safety conditions associated with employee well-being. Domestic violence impacts the health of workers, both physically and mentally. The victims may require time off to seek medical attention or recover from stress and other psychological issues associated with domestic violence. Workers may not be in the best psychological state to work. Because of these reasons, domestic leaves workers help promote safe and healthy working conditions of workers. It ensures that workers can seek treatment or recover from domestic violence effects. Indeed, the health of workers is essential in the promotion of safe and healthy working conditions and giving domestic violence time off to heal a decent work agenda.

Another significant component of decent work influenced by domestic violence leave is the combination of family, personal life and work. Work-life balance impacts social security and other forms of support for workers. Promoting work-life balance entails providing workers with sufficient time to address issues that significantly affect their lives (Ferraro et al., 2015). In this case, domestic violence is a pressing personal life issue that victims must be given time to address. Besides, it has effects on work since some of the victims indicate that it distracts them from work. Domestic violence leaves then support workers to get the work-life balance, which is essential for proving their quality of life.

In conclusion, Domestic Violence legislation directly influences the decent work Agenda. It influences two thematic areas of decent work agenda, including safe and healthy working conditions and supports work-life balance. Indeed, domestic violence victims undergo adverse challenges that may require time off from work to solve. They need time to recover physically and mentally from the effects of domestic violence. Hence, support to get leave with pay will help them relieve the pressure of work and life. Subsequently, it improves their health and quality of life.

Social Democracy and Neoliberlaism

Ideological orientations directly impact public policy, including employment relations policies. Social democracy and neo-liberalism are critical ideologies that influence the public space and policies in the New Zeeland. Social democracy is a policy system that advocates for social and economic interventions to enhance social justice (Hicks, 2018). Neoliberals refer to a market-oriented policy framework, for instance, lowering trade barriers, deregulation capital markets, and removing the price controls (). The two forms of ideologies are entirely different because they focus on the deregulation of the markets. In contrast, the other focuses on the regulation of the markets to enhance social justice. Therefore, depending on the ideology that the government or policymakers are aligned to the employment relations and the associated policies may differ.

Social democracy advocates for government involvement in the markets to enhance economic equality and social security (Hicks, 2018). Since unemployment is one of the leading causes of insecurity and inequality, full employment assurance represents the first step towards economic efficiency and equity. In this view, social democrats tend to encourage state regulation over state ownership of production means and an extensive social welfare program. Hence, social democrats easily support decent work agenda and would push for employment relations and policies that help improve workers’ social welfare. As such, the social democrats would seek to have regulations that support the workers to attain safe and healthy working conditions. Besides, social democracy is about social equity and justice (Johnstone & Wilkinson, 2016). In this view, the policymakers who believe in social democracy tend to push for policies that promote equality in the workplace. Social democrats encourage the development of regulations, such as equal pay legislation. Overall, social democracy adopts the objective of state regulation of the industries and businesses as sufficient to foster economic growth, equitable income, and appropriate employment relations.

Unlike social democracy, neoliberals advocate for policy models that concentrate on free-market competition. It is characterized by an emphasis on free markets as an efficient means of resource allocation and minimal state intervention in social and economic affairs (Acharya, 2019). It also calls for freedom of capital and trade. Primarily, individuals aligned to neoliberals advocate for a free labor market with minimal interference by the government. As such, they may not find policies such as equal pay and legislation on domestic violence leave essential in promoting employee relations. In neoliberals, all things in an organization, including people, become instruments for generating profits. Therefore people are likely to approach employee relations with the instrumental goals in mind. As such, the employment relationship under neoliberals is nothing but an instrumental exchange between the employers and employees. Besides, neoliberalism is individualistic, and people are expected to pursue individual interests in an employment relationship. It encourages competition, making relationships at workplaces a matter of competition among workers within the organization and those in the labor market (Howell, 2020). Employees can be removed from form the organization at any time. Neoliberals may not result in the attainment of good employment relations practices and policies.

In conclusion, social democracy and neoliberals influence different outcomes regarding employee relations and policies. Social democrats would enforce decent work relationships by encouraging the development of laws to enhance it. At the same time, the neoliberals would push for markets to aim to achieve a decent work agenda without legislations. Subsequently, neoliberals may not fully achieve decent employee relationships because they are not bound by the government, and its nature is instrumental, competitive, and individualistic. On the other hand, social democracy encourages the development of decent employee relations through the creation of laws that will promote safe and healthy working conditions, equal pay, and support the welfare of the employees.

Effects of Corona on Employment in New Zeeland

The abrupt emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic is dealing an adverse blow to the businesses, economies, and workers across the globe. The response to the pandemic requires strict measures that derail the progress of the economy. Countries are limiting access tit heathers, retail stores, concert halls, and many non-essential businesses where there is a high risk of coming into close contact among people. Besides, the government has warned people to try and stay at home when possible and limit unnecessary movements. Moreover, the business has closed to protect its workers from contracting Corona Virus. Perhaps the most visible closure is the universal shutdown of the professional sports industry. These unprecedented problems are having economic ripple effects across New Zeeland and illustrate how employment has suffered significantly.

Covid-19 has significantly changed the labor market of New Zeeland. Several indicators, such as actual hours worked, usually worked hours, and underemployment in the country, demonstrate the significant challenges of the coronavirus. The Covid-19 alert of New Zeeland was lifted to level 4 from 25 March 2020 to 27 April 2020. Such government actions have enhanced the ability of several individuals to work and our capability to collect data to demonstrate Corona’s effects. New Zeeland Air industry has seen about 1300 staff lose their jobs due to grounding of Airport operations. Studies show that approximately 80,000 people would lose their jobs in a new wave of unemployment in New Zeeland starting from June (Theunissen, 2020).

The number of new employments has also reduced significantly since new businesses cannot open while the current ones cannot expand. The employment opportunities are limited. Unemployment of New Zeeland in March was estimated at 4.2 percent and increase from the last years’ quarter, which was about 4.0 percent (Theunissen, 2020). This demonstrates that the amount of unemployment has increased over time to the highest level in the recent past. This increase in the unemployment rate is attributed to the Corona Virus, which has destabilized the labor market. A majority of the unemployment resulting from Covid-19 is the unskilled laborers.

The government in realization of the significant effects of Corona on the labor market tried to create a business continuity package to influence employment. The government provided NZD 12.1 billion to ensure that business continue with their operations without sending employees packing. Therefore, the role of the Unions is to negotiate for better deals for their members, both with the employers and the government (Piller, 2020). The unions have a responsibility to engage the employers to negotiate for a review of the employment agreements and ensure the interests of their employees. The businesses are protected for posterity and continuity during and after Corona.

In conclusion, Covid-19 has negatively affected the labor markets across the world and in New Zeeland. Businesses are struggling due to the measured put in place by the government to respond to the restrictions of movement and operations. In this view, companies have been forced to reduce its employees with thousands losing their jobs across the country. However, the workers’ hope lies with the unions, which should negotiate for better engagement and review of employment agreements. Besides, the unions can also petition the government to intervene and help their businesses and employees. Through such engagement, unions can ensure that employees can earn salaries and wages to sustain their livelihood as the economy slowly picks up.

References

Acharya, S. (2019). Liberalism, Neo-Liberalism and Post-Liberalism; A Reference of Nepal. A Reference of Nepal (July 11, 2019).

Employment New Zeeland. (2020). Domestic violence leave. Retrieved https://www.employment.govt.nz/leave-and-holidays/domestic-violence-leave/

Ferraro, T., Pais, L., & Dos Santos, N. R. (2015). Decent work: An aim for all made by all. International Journal of Social Sciences, 4(3), 30-42.

Hicks, A. (2018). Social democracy and welfare capitalism: A century of income security politics. Cornell University Press.

Howell, C. (2020). Rethinking the Role of the State in Employment Relations for a Neoliberal Era. ILR Review, 0019793920904663.

Johnstone, S., & Wilkinson, A. (2016). Developing positive employment relations: international experiences of labour–management partnership. In Developing Positive Employment Relations (pp. 3-24). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Piller, F. T. (2020). Ten Propositions on the Future of Digital Business Models for Industry 4.0 in the Post-Corona Economy. Available at SSRN 3617816.

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