Monday, 04 June 2018 14:06

Fair Work Commission grants VEOHRC leave to be heard on MFB enterprise agreement

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) has today been granted leave to be heard in proceedings relating to the approval of the Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board and United Firefighters Union Operational Agreement 2016 (Operational Agreement) at the Fair Work Commission.

This will allow VEOHRC to make submissions and file evidentiary material to assist the Fair Work Commission in its decision.

“All firefighters deserve great workplace conditions and job security, including those who need to work part-time for family or other reasons,” said Commissioner Kristen Hilton. “We are pleased to have the chance to support the right of all Victorian operational firefighters to access secure part-time work.”

VEOHRC’s role under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 is to identify and eliminate discrimination and to promote equality. VEOHRC has an interest in ensuring that employees in our state are not deprived of their legislative protections against discrimination and will take the opportunity to raise them in an appropriate forum.

In this case, VEOHRC is concerned that the Operational Agreement contains discriminatory and objectionable terms that prohibit or restrict part-time work for operational firefighters within the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

These terms are unfair and unfavourable towards employees that seek to work part-time, including women, parents, people with a disability and carers. They will unfairly limit both men and women’s choices about their roles in parenting and family life, and will actively undermine women’s participation in Victoria’s operational fire services.

VEOHRC has the power, with the leave of a tribunal such as the Fair Work Commission, to intervene in matters involving issues of equality of opportunity, discrimination, sexual harassment or victimisation.

The hearing of the application to intervene was heard on Wednesday 29th May and Thursday 30th May. Leave to be heard was granted today, Monday 4th June.

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Media contact

Kat O'Shea
Mobile: 0459 114 657
Email: kat.o'shea@veohrc.vic.gov.au

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