Paid family and domestic violence leave now accessible for employees

As of 1 February 2023, many employees can now access paid family and domestic violence leave entitlements. Employees in small businesses will be able to access the same leave entitlement from 1 August 2023.

Where employees were previously only entitled to 5 days unpaid leave, employees are now entitled to 10 days paid leave every 12 months.

Employees are eligible if they are experiencing family and domestic violence and require time to deal with the impact of the violence that can’t be done during non-work hours.

This may include the employee:

  • making arrangements for their or a close relative safety
  • attending court hearings
  • accessing service from the police
  • attending counselling
  • attending appointments with medical financial, or legal professionals.

For accessing the leave, family and domestic violence means violent, threatening or other abusive behaviour by an employee’s close relative, household member or current or former intimate partner that seeks to coerce or control the employee and causes the employee harm or to be fearful.

Examples may include but is not limited to:

  • controlling behaviour
  • physical violence
  • sexual assault
  • emotional abuse
  • stalking
  • technology facilitated abuse
  • financial abuse.

Importantly if an employee does need to take family and domestic violence leave, employers are required to take steps to ensure any evidence provided by the employee is kept confidential and is not used for any purpose other than establishing the employee is entitled to the leave.

Additionally, employers have obligations to ensure that an employee’s payslips do not include any of the following information regarding accessing paid family and domestic violence leave:

  • any amounts paid to the employee
  • any period of leave taken
  • the balance of the leave entitlement

Union members can access information and industrial support by contacting the Workplace Advice and Support Team on 1300 273 762 or email [email protected]

To access 24/7 counselling and support, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.