Domestic and family violence is a workplace issue. Having domestic/family violence as a new protected attribute in anti-discrimination legislation can provide another avenue of protection for victims and survivors who experience discrimination, as well as lead to improved measures for addressing domestic/family violence.
Domestic and family violence has a significant impact on Australian businesses and the economy. Almost two-thirds of women affected by such violence are in some form of paid employment and it is estimated that violence will cost the Australian economy $15.6 billion by 2021-2022 unless effective action is taken to prevent it.
With a focus on government and businesses/ employers, our work has included:
a roundtable in 2011 with academics, community organisations, legal services and working women’s centres to identify the issue of domestic and family violence as a workplace issue and a ground of discrimination.
submissions to the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) review of family violence and Commonwealth laws (2011), the Fair Work Act Review (2012) and the review of federal anti-discrimination laws (2012), Exposure Draft Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill (2012) – in which we have advocated for the provision of leave and flexible work arrangements for employees experiencing domestic violence, as well as for the recognition of domestic and family violence as a protected attribute under anti-discrimination laws.
- advocating for workplaces to recognise and address domestic and family violence as a workplace issue, through developing workplace policies, safety plans and providing protections in enterprise agreements.