Family violence is a serious issue affecting many individuals in society. It can take a toll on a person’s physical and mental health and make it difficult for them to perform their job effectively. To support employees who are affected by family violence, Australia has introduced 10 days of paid family domestic violence leave for employees. This article provides a guide for employers on family and domestic violence leave.
What are the new laws?
From 1 February 2023, employees of non-small business employers are entitled to 10 days of paid family domestic violence leave each year. This includes full-time, part-time and casual employees. The leave is available in full immediately and is not accrued pro rata. The 10 days resets on the employee’s work anniversary and does not roll over from the previous year.
What is a small business employer?
A small business in relation to Australian workplace laws is a business with less than 15 employees. If you are a small business employer, your employees can access paid family violence leave from 1 August 2023. Until then, they can take up to 5 days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave each year.
What is domestic violence leave?
Family and domestic violence leave is granted to employees who are experiencing family violence. This leave allows employees to take time off to deal with the impacts of the violence, without having to worry about losing their job. Employees may wish to take family and domestic violence leave to attend court appearances, make arrangements for the safety of themselves and their children, seek medical attention or access support services.
What are my obligations as an employer?
The entitlement to family violence leave comes from the National Employment Standards (NES). It is now a minimum leave entitlement, such as annual leave or sick leave. If an employee requests family and domestic violence leave, the employer must provide it unless there are reasonable business grounds for not doing so. The employer should also make sure that the employee’s job is protected and that their privacy is respected.
What are the rights of my employees?
Employees have the right to request family violence leave. They can do so by providing you with evidence of the violence, such as a police report or a statement from a medical practitioner or social worker. Employees do not have to disclose the details of the violence, but they should provide enough information to support their request for leave.
Who can I contact if I am experiencing family and domestic violence?
- 1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732
- Triple Zero: 000
- Mensline Australia: 1300 789 978
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
- Kids Help Line: 1800 551 880
- Employees of non-small business employers can access 10 days of paid family violence leave from 1 February 2023.
- Employees of small business employers can access paid family and domestic violence leave from 1 August 2023. Until then, they can still access 5 days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave.
- The entitlement to family violence leave is part of the National Employment Standards (NES) and is considered a minimum leave entitlement like annual or sick leave.
- This leave must be provided unless there are reasonable business grounds for not doing so.
- Employees should provide supporting evidence for their request but do not have to disclose the details of the violence.
Gladwin Legal are experts in employment and industrial relations law and have extensive experience in advising businesses. If you require assistance in understanding your legal obligations please contact us at or 1300 033 934.
This article was written by Ruth Ong.