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Family Friendly and Domestic Violence Clauses - Modern Awards

Posted on : Monday, 19 January 2015

The ACTU has lodged an Application under the Modern Award Review process to vary all Modern Awards with a clause that relates to domestic violence and further amendments to family related work arrangements.

 

The clause seeks paid domestic violence leave and a right to request a change in working arrangements in connection with their disclosure of domestic violence.

 

One effect of this, if successful would be an enormous cost to business. There has been opposition to the claim but with preliminary/jurisdictional issues to be heard in July 2015.

 

The ACTU claim also includes incidental provisions to:

 

  • address evidentiary and notice requirements for an application for family and domestic violence leave
  • appoint a workplace contact for employees to whom applications would be made
  • clarify the role and responsibilities of the contact person
  • establish processes and procedures to ensure confidentiality
  • address any mandatory reporting andPrivacy Act 1988(Cth) requirements if relevant
  • ensure adequate training and support is provided for the contact person
  • refer to the protections afforded by the Fair Work Act to persons who exercise or propose to exercise a workplace right.

 

If successful, this would result in 10 days paid leave (or perhaps a different amount) and a right to request a change in working arrangements in connection with their disclosure of domestic violence.

 

With respect to the family friendly work arrangements claim, the ACTU proposes that such arrangements should include the following:

 

  • requests for family friendly work arrangements during pregnancy or upon return from parental or adoption leave;
  • a right to return to substantive position and work arrangements held prior to returning to work from parental or adoption leave; and
  • additional elements including that employees may access their personal leave to attend pregnancy, ante-natal and/or adoption related appointments.

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