Industrial Relations Update April 2018
The following abbreviated summary follows the recent decision of the Fair Work Commission as part of the 4-year review of Modern Awards to insert a model domestic violence clause into the awards to allow employees to access 5 unpaid days where they can provide reasonable proof that they are experiencing family or domestic violence issues.
This decision takes a cautious regulatory response to this issue with the following decision of the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission.
“We have decided to provide five days’ unpaid leave to employees experiencing family and domestic violence, if the employee needs to do something to deal with the impact of that violence and it is impractical for them to do it outside their ordinary hours of work.
We have decided to defer our consideration of whether employees should be able to access paid personal/carer’s leave for the purpose of taking family and domestic violence leave.
The Full Bench exempted from this general finding the Australian Government Industry Award 2016, the Road Transport and Distribution Award 2010 and the Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award 2010, which are to be the subject of separate consideration.
Also as part of the 4 yearly review, the FWC considered the ACTU claims in relation to flexible working arrangements and, although some of the claims were rejected, the FWC has determined that there needs to be additional provisions inserted into the awards to meet the expectations of employees with family and carer responsibilities, and the abbreviated summary below sets out the basis of their decision and what to expect once the clause is finalised.