PAID leave and the right to request flexible working arrangements should be extended to people experiencing domestic violence, under reforms to the industrial relations system being considered by the federal government.
Victims should also be able to have early access to their superannuation to make it financially easier for people to leave abusive relationships.
''There should be a core of basic requirements with respect to family violence leave, including that it should be paid, flexible and easily accessible where necessary,'' a report by the Australian Law Reform Commission says.
The federal government is considering a suite of reforms to help people living with violent partners including, for the first time, looking at employment, social security and superannuation laws.
The commission argues that industrial relations laws need to be changed to create a special category of leave for victims of domestic violence.
At the moment, industrial relations laws allow people paid leave for sickness, holidays, carer and parental responsibilities, compassionate reasons and long service.
''An employee who is experiencing family violence may use a combination of leave entitlements to take time off work for purposes related to family violence,'' the commission found. ''However, there are restrictions on the use of particular types of leave and where family violence occurs over a prolonged period, people experiencing family violence may quickly exhaust their leave entitlements.''
A special category of leave would help people to retain their jobs while dealing with exceptional personal circumstances.
Business groups are supportive of the idea so long as people were required to provide verification of their claims in the same way medical certificates are requested for prolonged periods of illness.
Also under consideration is whether people should be able to access their superannuation payments early in order to remove financial factors from a decision about leaving an abusive partner.
But reform in this area may be difficult, the commission noted, because people might not want the stress of proving their circumstances in order to get access to their super.
The government is expected to make a decision about the proposed changes later this year.
The Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, said all laws needed to be examined to see if they were could be amended to help people suffering from family violence.
''Reducing all violence in our communities is a key priority for the Australian government and ensuring the nation's laws are compatible with this aim is crucial. Our laws must send a clear message that family violence is unacceptable,'' Ms Roxon said.