In 2012–13, a number of employment-related recommendations made by the ALRC in the Family Violence and Commonwealth Laws report were implemented, or partially implemented, including recommendations that:
- the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations collect data on the incidence of family violence-related clauses and references in enterprise agreements and include it as part of the Workplace Agreements Database;
- the Australian Government support research, monitoring and evaluation of family violence-related developments in the employment law sphere, for example by bodies such as the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse;
- the Australian Government consider family violence-related amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) in the course of the 2012 Post-Implementation Review of the Act;
- the Australian Government support the inclusion of family violence clauses in enterprise agreements;
- the Australian Human Rights Commission, in the context of the consolidation of Commonwealth anti-discrimination laws, examine the possible basis upon which status as an actual or perceived victim of family violence could be included as a protected attribute under Commonwealth anti-discrimination law;
- the Australian Government amend the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) to provide that an employee who is experiencing family violence may request the employer for a change in working arrangements; and
- the inclusion of a model family violence term be considered in the course of the first four-yearly review of modern awards by the Fair Work Commission.
In the social security context, ALRC’s recommendation that the Guide to Social Security Law should direct Centrelink customer service advisers expressly to consider family violence when tailoring a job seeker’s Employment Pathway Plan has also been implemented.
Finally, in November 2012, changes were made to the Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) implementing the ALRC’s recommendations to broaden the types of acceptable evidence that can be submitted in support of claim of family violence under migration law. The changes included:
- repeal the requirements for a valid statutory declaration from a ‘competent person’; and
- amendments providing a wider list of people, listed in a ministerial instrument, who can provide evidence in support of a non-judicially determined claim of family violence.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s policy manual for decision makers has also been amended in accordance with ALRC recommendations concerning the impact of family violence.