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Workers to get five days' violence leave

Australian workers will be guaranteed access to five days of unpaid domestic violence leave per year, under draft laws that have passed federal parliament.

But Jobs Minister Kelly O'Dwyer says the change won't be the last the step the coalition pursues to help improve the financial security of those fleeing violent situations.

"There is always more that we can do," Ms O'Dwyer told reporters in Canberra on Thursday, after the legislation was given the green light.

"I can give you a complete assurance that we will never lose sight of that focus and we have the determination to follow through."

Under the changes, five days of unpaid leave for those dealing with domestic violence issues will be available to all eight million Australians covered by the Fair Work Act.

That includes full-time, part-time and casual workers.

The minimum benchmark had been recommended by the Fair Work Commission as a fair and relevant safety net.

Ms O'Dwyer said it will ensure anyone who needs such leave can take it in the knowledge their job is protected.

"We know how serious this issue is, and members in this place have put politics aside, have come together, to deliver this very important reform."

Labor and unions have been lobbying for 10 days' paid family violence leave, arguing the legislation doesn't go far enough.

The opposition committed in 2017 to adding 10 days of paid leave to national employment standards if it forms government at the next election.

Qantas, Telstra, the National Australia Bank, IKEA, Virgin Australia and Carlton & United Breweries are among big companies who already offer paid domestic violence leave.

Ms O'Dwyer said such employers should be applauded, but the latest changes are about ensuring there are protections for everyone.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the step means there is a universal entitlement that all employers can apply.

"Employers want to be able to assist and support employees suffering from family and domestic violence but have different capacities to do so," chief executive James Pearson said.

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