Setback for domestic violence leave

The case for domestic violence leave in employment awards has suffered a major setback with a senior member of the Fair Work Commission rejecting a trade union claim.

The decision has been welcomed by a major employer group which hopes the reasoning of commission vice-president Graeme Watson will influence his two colleagues on the full bench.

Mr Watson said he was not satisfied the family and domestic violence leave claim by the ACTU was necessary to provide a fair and relevant minimum safety net of terms and conditions.

"It follows that the ACTU claim should be rejected," he said in a ruling on Monday.

The claim has been before the commission's full bench since November 2015.

Evidence, submissions and hearings were dealt with by December 2016.

Mr Watson said his two colleagues were not yet able to issue their decision.

The AI Group, which represents the employers of more than 750,00 Australians, said a "one-size-fits-all" claim for 10 days paid leave per year was not appropriate.

"Smaller employers often do not have formal policies but they typically adopt a reasonable and compassionate approach when their employees suffer genuine hardships," chief executive Innes Willox said.