Meeting employees' needs in today's world

21 Apr 2017

In early 2017, Queensland became the first Australian state or territory to give employees affected by domestic and family violence (DFV) a legislative right to paid leave.

The new leave provisions, which form part of the Queensland Government’s revised Industrial Relations Act 2016, mean that Queensland state and local government employees can now access up to 10 days paid leave each year (up to 10 days unpaid leave for long-term casuals) for DFV-related purposes, such as recovering from injury, obtaining safe housing, organising child care or attending court.

The new legislation follows a review of the state’s industrial relations legislation and tribunals by an Industrial Relations Legislative Reform Reference Group, which reported to the Queensland Government in December 2015.

Professor Gillian Whitehouse from the School of Political Science and International Studies has spent her 25-year career researching issues surrounding gender and employment equity, so was an obvious choice to be appointed as a specialist industrial relations academic advisor to the reference group, which considered, among other things, contemporary matters such as workplace bullying, DFV, gender equality and work/life balance.

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