Domestic violence, LSL and parental leave debated


Domestic violence, LSL and parental leave debated

Domestic violence leave, long service leave portability and paid parental leave are all being debated at present, with significant ramifications for employers if any changes are made or introduced.


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Domestic violence leave, long service leave portability and paid parental leave are all being debated at present, with significant ramifications for employers if any changes are made or introduced.

ACTU’s family and domestic violence leave claims

On 13 August there was a hearing of the preliminary/jurisdictional issues before a FWC full bench in relation to ACTU claims seeking to vary all 122 modern awards to insert a family and domestic violence clause and a 'family friendly' work arrangements clause. 

As a result, the ACTU significantly amended the clauses.

The key jurisdictional issues that remained in contention were:
  • whether the proposed family and domestic violence leave clause contains terms that are not permitted to be included in a modern award under Part 2-3 of the Act, in particular, the confidentiality obligations in the ACTU claim, and
  • whether the parental leave clause is inconsistent with Part 2-1 of the Act, in particular s55.
During the hearing vice-president Hatcher directed the ACTU to provide a note in relation to the Four-yearly Review of Modern Awards – Alleged NES Inconsistencies Decision [2015] FWCFB 3023.

VP Hatcher indicated that once the full bench had received the further note on the NES Inconsistencies Decision, it would reserve its decision. The ACTU has subsequently filed its further submission which the full bench is considering.

Senate report

The Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration handed down a report on domestic violence last Thursday. The committee comprised three ALP senators, two Greens senators and two Coalition senators.

Its recommendations include: the committee supports victims of domestic and family violence having access to appropriate leave provisions which assist them to maintain employment and financial security while attending necessary appointments such as court appearances and seeking legal advice, and the Commonwealth government should investigate ways to implement this across the private and public sector.

Senate considers paid parental leave changes

The Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee is continuing its hearing into the Fairer Paid Parental Leave Amendment Bill 2015.

The bill would introduce two significant changes to the PPL scheme that was established by the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010:
  • it would remove the obligation the PPL Act imposes on employers to pay and administer employee entitlements under the PPL scheme, unless an employer opts to do so
  • in introducing a 2015 Budget measure, it would prevent parents entitled to receive parental leave payments from their employers from also receiving the full amount of parental leave pay under the PPL scheme.
The Senate Committee is required to deliver its report by 15 September.

Victorian employers oppose LSL portability

Submission are being considered by the Victorian Parliament’s Economic, Education, Jobs and Skills Committee inquiry into portability of long service leave entitlements for Victorian workers.

Employers claim any moves to expand existing industry-based portable LSL schemes or create new ones will:
  • impose a new tax on employment of at least 2.5 per cent, to the detriment of employment in Victoria
  • impose additional labour costs on employers operating in Victoria, placing them at a disadvantage compared with employers in other states and territories and discouraging domestic and international investment in Victoria
  • create not insignificant additional administrative and financial burdens on employers, impacting cash flow, service levels and operations in sectors impacted, and
  • create apprehension about employing people with longer career tenures and experience.
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