[2017] FWC 1733


Fair Work Act 2009

s.156 - 4 yearly review of modern awards

4 yearly review of modern awards—Family & Domestic Violence Leave Clause



4 yearly review of modern awards – Family & Domestic Violence Leave Clause – reconstitution of Full Bench

[1] Hearings in relation to this matter were held before a Full Bench comprising Vice President Watson, Deputy President Gooley and Commissioner Spencer, concluding on 2 December 2016. Vice President Watson published his decision in the matter on 27 February 2017 and his resignation from the Commission took effect on 28 February 2017.

[2] In the circumstances, Deputy President Gooley and Commissioner Spencer have sought my advice as to whether they may proceed to finalise and publish a decision in the matter, in particular having regard to s.622 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Fair Work Act), which provides:

[3] The memorandum provided to me by Deputy President Gooley and Commissioner Spencer in relation to this issue is attached.

[4] A hearing in relation to this issue will be listed for 1:00 pm on Tuesday, 4 April 2017. The parties will have an opportunity to make submissions at this hearing and, in particular, are asked to address the following questions:

[5] I will consider the submissions received at the hearing on Tuesday, 4 April 2017 and then issue a statement setting out how I intend to proceed.


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President Ross


23 March 2017



Deputy President Anne Gooley and Commissioner Paula Spencer




Phone No:




Family and Domestic Violence Leave and Family Friendly Work Arrangements

Dear President Ross

As you are aware Vice President Watson was the presiding member of the Award Modernisation Full Bench which was hearing, as part of the 4 year review, an application to vary all modern awards to insert an entitlement to family and domestic violence leave and to provide an entitlement to family friendly work arrangements for employees during pregnancy and upon return to work.

The Family and Domestic Violence Leave Application.

Hearings in relation to this claim concluded on 2 December 2016. Members of the Full Bench asked the Vice President, as the presiding member, to provide a draft of his decision but apart from providing a summary of the evidence Vice President Watson advised that he was unwilling to provide a draft. After further requests Vice President Watson provided the other members of the Full Bench with a copy of his draft of the decision on 20 February 2017 which did not include his final conclusion. There was insufficient time between that date and the date of his resignation for the other members of the Bench to consider his draft and finalise their decision. On 27 February 2017 he published his decision. On 28 February 2017 his resignation took effect.

We seek your advice on the following:

The Family Friendly Work Arrangements Application

Vice President Watson after conferring with the parties issued directions on 22 December 2016 which in summary set the following timetable:

No evidence has been heard in relation to this matter.

Can you advise when an additional member is appointed to this bench?