What do employers need to know about Family and Domestic Violence Leave?

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Disclaimer: This blog discusses family and domestic violence.

The Federal Government has introduced a new bill, making major amendments to the 2009 Fair Work Act on Family and Domestic Violence Leave.

Now, Family and Domestic Violence Leave is available to casual workers, where previously only permanent employees were eligible. Also, the amount of leave available for those experiencing family and domestic violence will increase to 10 days for all Australian workers (up from 5 days) in a year.

These changes by the Federal Government have overruled the Fair Work Commission’s decision to introduce a 5 day Family and Domestic Violence Leave entitlement, giving all employees more days of paid leave and a higher rate of pay if they take this leave.

What is family and domestic violence?

Family and domestic violence is controlling and violent behaviour conducted often by someone you know or live with, with the intention of making you or your family feel unsafe, threatened or abused. This person can include (but isn’t limited to) your parent, current or former partner, your child’s parent or someone you work with.

Who can use this leave?

The leave payment is available for all Australian employees as part of the National Employment Standards. These employees can take leave if they need to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence and cannot do so outside of work hours. This can give victims extra time to escape violence or seek help if they can’t do this after work or at night.

How does this work?

The 10 days of leave are available upfront and as soon as you start your employee starts working for you. Employees are also entitled to the amount of money they would’ve received if they worked on that day (not generic base rates), so it is important to take this into account.

If your employee needs more than 10 days of leave for family and domestic violence matters, you can discuss unpaid or additional paid leave.

To give businesses time to adjust to the change, the bill will come into effect on 1 February 2023, but all employees are entitled from this day. Small businesses will have an extra 6 months.

For business advice and information on how this will affect you, speak to us today!

If you or someone you know is experiencing family or domestic violence, contact:

  • 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732
  • Lifeline on 13 11 14
  • Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800
  • Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre on 1800 015 188 (Victoria)
  • Mensline Australia on 1300 78 99 78 (for men)
  • Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277 (for women)

For more support services, click here!