UNIONS and women's rights advocates have backed a move by Telstra to provide staff who experience domestic violence with an extra ten days paid leave, but say it should form part of all modern employment contracts.
The policy would apply to more than 1000 Tasmanians who work for the telco giant, which has a staff of 34,000 Australia-wide.
Unions Tasmania secretary Steve Walsh said domestic violence was a workplace issue, as well as a community issue.
"The fact that a major corporation like that sees the importance of providing leave for people who are victims of domestic violence is a major step in the right direction," Mr Walsh said.
"We'd support the push for domestic violence leave to be part of all the modern awards as well," he said.
"It should become an entitlement," he said.
Latest figures show Tasmania Police responded to more than 1700 family violence incidents in the year to November.
White Ribbon chief executive Libby Davies said the provision was a "great step forward".
"Workplaces have a responsibility to be part of changing attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate violence," Ms Davies said.
Ms Davies said the leave could be used for victims to take time out to attend court or legal proceedings, attend counselling, or other health appointments.
Women's Legal Service Tasmania senior solicitor Pauline van Adrichem said family violence had a significant impact on employed women.
"If they have physical injuries they may not be able to go to work," Ms van Adrichem said.
"Introducing domestic violence leave provisions actually allows for a far more supportive work place," she said.
She said the leave should also apply to the alleged perpetrator.
"They also need to seek counselling and support," she said.
"If a perpetrator can seek help to not perpetrate in the future that's the best outcome".
It is estimated that domestic violence costs the Australian economy $13.6 billion a year.