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Fair Work Amendment (Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2018

The submission to the Education and Employment Legislation Committee’s Inquiry into the Fair Work Amendment (Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2018 was prepared by the Law Council.

The Law Council is grateful for the assistance of its Domestic and Family Violence Working Group, the Industrial Law Committee of the Federal Litigation and Dispute Resolution Section, the Law Society Northern Territory, the Law Society of South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory Law Society in the preparation of this submission.

The Bill seeks to amend the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) to insert a new entitlement in the National Employment Standards (NES), being five days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave. The Law Council notes the decision of the Fair Work Commission in March 2018 to grant five days unpaid leave to employees covered by modern awards.

The Bill seeks to extend this decision by ensuring that all workers who are covered by the Act will also have access to five days family and domestic violence leave.

The Law Council has considered the Bill and is broadly supportive of its aims. However, the Law Council provides several suggestions as to the drafting of the Bill, which in the view of the Law Council, will provide clarity and ensure that all people who have experienced family or domestic violence, or are experiencing family or domestic violence, are entitled to leave.

While the Law Council commends the Bill as an important step, the Law Council recommends that additional measures, including increasing the number of leave days and providing for paid leave, in accordance with best practice, be considered in the future.

You can read the full submission below.

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