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Domestic and Family Violence Support Guidelines

Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) These Guidelines complement the Domestic and Family Violence Support Policy and work in conjunction with other existing policies and practices that support employees experiencing domestic or family violence including the Workplace Flexibility Policy, and arrangements outlined in the relevant Staff Agreement.

(2) These Guidelines also further outline supports available to staff affected by, or supporting a family member affected by domestic and family violence, points of contact, and arrangements that may be put in place for staff to facilitate continued participation in the workplace.

(3) These Guidelines apply to all members of the University community:

  1. in attendance at a University campus or facility, be it owned or leased
  2. using University equipment, be it owned or leased (e.g. communications technologies, vehicles, facilities)
  3. in attendance at a University event, function or activity
  4. participating in any activity as a representative of the University (e.g. field trips inter-University events, conferences, practicum, clinical placements, etc).

(4) Matters that arise away from the University and that have no association with the University would not normally be covered by this policy except where there is a clear impact on the University's ability to fulfil its objectives in terms of this policy.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(5) Definitions as related in the Domestic and Family Violence Support Policy apply.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(6) Policy Statement as related in the Domestic and Family Violence Support Policy applies.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

Part A - Staff Disclosure and Privacy

(7) A staff member experiencing domestic or family violence may choose to disclose their circumstances to:

  1. HR representative (including the Chief People Officer)
  2. their Manager or Supervisor
  3. an Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing Officer, or
  4. a colleague or work associate.

(8) On disclosure of a domestic or family violence matter an individual should be directed to the Domestic and Family Violence Support Policy, and provided assistance in accessing the supports available as outlined in these Guidelines.

(9) Managers, Supervisors or other staff members assisting a staff member who is affected by domestic and family violence should contact their Office of People representative for advice.

(10) Any information provided by a staff member who chooses to disclose circumstances relating to domestic and family violence will be treated confidentially with respect of the staff member’s right to privacy, except in circumstances where:

  1. there is a risk to the health and safety of the individual themselves, or other staff members
  2. when there is a legal obligation to disclose.

Part B - Staff and Student Safety

(11) The safety of our staff and students must be considered as a priority.

(12) If there is a threat of harm to any individual at work or on campus as a result of a domestic or family violence matter, either through phone or email contact or in person, advice should be sought from Campus Safety and Security. Emergency Response Guidelines should also be referenced. 

(13) If there is an immediate life threatening situation call the NSW Police on 000, and then your local Campus Safety and Security office if time permits via 1300 737 003.

(14) Staff who are concerned for their safety due to a domestic or family violence matter should discuss safety options with the Office of People, or their Manager as appropriate. Possible safety precautions available to staff include:

  1. removal of contact information from the Staff Directory
  2. security escort to and from vehicles
  3. other safety measures as appropriate to individual circumstances.

Part C - Work Arrangements for Staff Affected by Domestic and Family Violence

(15) The University provides support and considers adjustment to working arrangements for employees experiencing domestic or family violence, or supporting a family member experiencing domestic or family violence. This may be accessed via the applicable Staff Agreement provisions and other relevant employment policies and practices including the Workplace Flexiblity Policy.


(16) A staff member who is experiencing domestic or family violence may access 20 days paid Domestic and Family Violence Leave per year, and any other paid or unpaid leave available to them for the purpose of attending appointments, making relocation or other safety arrangement, or other activities related to their circumstances. The University may grant additional paid Domestic and Family Violence Leave to the staff member based on the individual circumstances of a request. The Office of People (including the Chief People Officer)can provide assistance and advice for staff needing to access this leave, and further information can be accessed via the Domestic and Family Violence clauses in the relevant Staff Agreement

(17) A staff member supporting a family member experiencing domestic or family violence may request leave without pay and/or apply for personal leave as per arrangements outlined in the relevant Staff Agreement.

(18) Any applications for leave as a result of domestic and family violence will be considered in confidence between a staff member, the appropriate Office of People representative, the staff member’s direct supervisor, and any other individual, with the consent of the affected staff member, as may be required in certain circumstances. 

Access to Flexible Work options

(19) A staff member experiencing domestic or family violence, or supporting an immediate family member experiencing domestic or family violence has the right to request a change in their working arrangements under the Fair Work Act.

(20) A staff member wanting to make a request for flexible working arrangements can do so under the relevant Staff Agreementor the Workplace Flexibility Policy.  Advice and assistance in requesting a flexible working arrangement can be provided by the Office of People or Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing. More information about flexible working arrangements is also available via the Flexible Work Options web page.

Counselling Support

(21) A staff member affected by domestic or family violence can access the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for themselves or a family member at no cost via AccessEAP. The EAP provide confidential counselling and support services.

(22) Staff supporting students who are experiencing domestic or family violence should refer them to the University Counselling Service web page.

(23) Further information on additional supports available for individuals who are experiencing domestic or family violence is available on the University's Domestic and Family Violence webpage.

Part D - Managers Role in supporting staff affected by Domestic and Family Violence

(24) Once a staff member discloses a domestic or family violence matter, Managers and Supervisors should advise the staff member of this policy and related information available on the University's Domestic and Family Violence web page, and refer the staff member to the appropriate HR representative

(25) Staff should be informed of, and encouraged to access the EAP Program. Further information is also available via the Employee Assistance Program Policy.

(26) A Manager or Supervisor supporting a staff member who is experiencing domestic or family violence should seek advice from the Office of People in the first instance. Managers and Supervisors can also seek support from Equity, Diversity and Wellbeing and the Manager Support Hotline provided through AccessEAP.

(27) A Manager or Supervisor concerned about the on campus safety of a staff member who is experiencing domestic and family violence should inform the Office of People and seek advice from Campus Safety and Security.

Part E - Mandatory Reporting Requirements

(28) Children who witness domestic and family violence are at greater risk of long-term psychological impacts.

(29) Mandatory reporters are people who deliver the following services, wholly or partly, to children as part of their paid or professional work:

  1. Health care (e.g. registered medical practitioners, specialists, general practice nurses, midwives, occupational therapists, speech therapists, psychologists, dentists and other allied health professionals working in sole practice or in public or private health practices) 
  2. Welfare (e.g. psychologists, social workers, caseworkers and youth workers)
  3. Education (e.g. teachers, counsellors, principals)
  4. Children’s services (e.g. child care workers, family day carers and home-based carers)
  5. Residential services (e.g. refuge workers)
  6. Law enforcement (e.g. police). Source (NSW Government Child Story Reporter)

(30) Staff who have a responsibility for Mandatory Reporting relating to children under the age of 16, as defined by Section 27 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection Act 1998) should be guided by the Mandatory Reporting Guide on the Department of Community Services website.

Part F - External Resources

(31) Additional information can be accessed via:

  1. NSW Police Domestic and Family Violence web page
  2. NSW State Government Domestic Violence web page
  3. White Ribbon Australia
  4. Our Watch
  5. Mandatory Reporting Guide
  6. Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia

Reference Laws/Guidelines

(32) Federal Laws/Guidelines:

  1. Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
  2. Work and Family Best Practice Guide (Fair Work Ombudsman)
  3. Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) 
  4. Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth) 
  5. Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998