New Legislation - Family and Domestic Violence Leave

Posted by Kirsty Peters on Monday, August 6, 2018

Effective 1 August 2018, all employees covered by modern awards will have access to a new form of leave to deal with family and domestic violence.  


The new entitlement is five days' unpaid leave, accessible where an employee: 


a) is experiencing family and domestic violence 

b) needs to do something to deal with the impact of the family and domestic violence, and 

c) it is impractical for the employee to do that thing outside his/her ordinary hours of work.


This could include making arrangements for their safety or the safety of a family member (including relocation), attending urgent court hearings, or accessing police services.


This new entitlement differs from standard forms of leave under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) in that it:

  • is available ‘in full’ (ie five days) at the start of each 12-month period of an employee’s employment
  • applies to all employees, including casuals, and
  • does not accumulate from year to year and does not accrue during a year.

This legislation does not yet apply to Award free employees, however, employers may choose to make it available to all employees.  Employers may also choose to provide employees with additional entitlements (above and beyond what is legislatively required).  For example, allowing employees to access paid personal/carer's leave entitlements for reasons related to domestic or family violence or providing additional paid leave.

Please reach out if you'd like help communicating these new leave provisions to your employees or if you'd like help developing and implementing a Policy that is consistent with any contract, Award or enterprise agreement which applies to employees within your business. 

Tags: domestic violence leave  employee legislation  leave policy  employee benefits