Domestic violence provisions in industrial agreements: lessons from the field

Stream: Poster session
Date: Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Time: 9.45 am – 10.15 am


In 2010 the ADFVC UNSW drafted the first Family Violence clause to be included in an Australian union log of claim, enabling the ASU to negotiate an ‘international best practice model clause’ at Surf Coast Shire. This Agreement clause provided domestic violence victim-survivor employees with enforceable workplace entitlements protected by industrial law. These included flexible working conditions, confidentiality, access to special paid leave, referral to family violence services and required the organisation to undertake training as part of the implementation of the clause. This clause, the first of its type internationally is a template for provisions now covering 1.6 million Australian workers. This paper examines the implementation of workplace provisions. It builds on ADFVC monitoring reports exploring the implementation process, 12 months after the adoption of the first agreements. It offers insights into implementation as a vehicle for organisational cultural change. This is reflected in the training piloted by the ASU for Union delegates and organisers. Training has been designed and delivered for managers in organisations wanting to drive the principles underpinning the clauses into the culture of their organisations, in contrast to those with a narrower approach. It shares learning from implementation with those seeking to negotiate new agreements.


Robyn Dale (Presenter), Formerly ADFVCH
Robyn Dale is the former Director of URCOT where her work entailed supporting unions and employers with practice-based interventions on a range of issues. These included development of participative consultative processes, dealing with workplace violence, and gender pay equity. In 2010, she started working with the ADFVC where she has supported unions and employers to introduce domestic violence provisions. More recently, she has been helping organisations to implement these provisions, largely through training and development.

Lisa Darmanin, Australian Services Union
Lisa Darmanin is the first female Executive President of the Australian Services Union, Victorian and Tasmanian Authorities and Services Branch. On behalf of the branch between 2009–2012 she led the landmark equal pay campaign for social and community services’ predominantly female workers achieve pay rises between 23 and 45%. Previously Lisa worked at Victorian Trades Hall Council, coordinating the Your Rights at Work campaign in Victoria. She has a Bachelor of Business (Industrial Relations), a Diploma of Community Development and is on the Boards of HESTA, Community Services and Health Industry Training Board and the National Committee of EMILY’s List.

Jane Karslake, Australian Services Union
Jane has worked as an Industrial Officer/ Organiser and more recently as Women''s Officer at the ASU. Jane has worked as a family violence crisis worker and film maker. Jane has a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies from Melbourne University and another in Film and Telvision from the Victorian College of the Arts.