Release type: Media Release


Stronger Workplace Protections Against Family and Domestic Violence


The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for the Arts

Workers subjected to family and domestic violence will be given stronger protection against discrimination in the workplace.

The Albanese Labor Government’s next round of workplace relations reforms – to be introduced into Parliament next month – will amend the Fair Work Act to protect victims and survivors against workplace discrimination.

The proposed changes will prohibit employers from taking adverse action against employees because they have been subjected to family and domestic violence by making it a “protected attribute” under the Act.

The changes will also prohibit terms in enterprise agreements and modern awards that discriminate against a person on this basis.

The changes will also require the Fair Work Commission to advance the goal of eliminating this type of discrimination.

These changes build on the Government’s landmark laws that provide ten days of paid family and domestic violence leave to all national system employees, including casuals – ensuring people don’t have to choose between their safety and their pay.

The Government is committed to providing the leadership and the investment to help end family, domestic and sexual violence.

Approximately 20 per cent of the adult population have reported experiencing physical and/or sexual family and domestic violence since the age of 15. Around two-thirds of these victim-survivors are in paid work.

They should never have to face further harm because of discriminatory attitudes and behaviours in the workplace.

This should also assist victims and survivors to feel more comfortable in accessing their workplace entitlements, like paid family and domestic violence leave and access to flexible work, without fear of losing income or their job.

Quotes attributable to Tony Burke, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations:

“Violence doesn’t discriminate and neither should the law.

“That’s why these proposed changes are so important - ensuring that workers are not penalised in any way if they disclose that they have been subjected to family and domestic violence.

“Because of the Government’s reforms last year employees in Australia will also have access to ten days of paid family and domestic violence leave, a work entitlement that will save lives. This change too will save lives.”

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit