What the new Domestic Violence Leave law means for your business

Posted by Malcolm Campbell, Luke Mitchell on 08 August 2018
What the new Domestic Violence Leave law means for your business

What is Domestic Violence Leave?

Effective August 1st 2018, a new Fair Work Commission Decision (2018) FWCFB 3936 has now set the standards of allowing employees covered by a Modern Award to take unpaid leave if and when they are dealing with family and domestic violence matters.


Who is covered?

The new law covers any employee (including casual) who is experiencing domestic violence or is providing support to a family member in a domestic violence scenario.

A family member is an employee’s:

• Spouse or former spouse;
• De facto partner or former de facto partner;
• Child;
• Parents;
• Grandparents;
• Grandchildren; or
• Sibling.

What is the time allowed?

An Employee is entitled up to 5 days unpaid family and domestic violence leave for the following purposes:

1. Attending legal proceedings, counselling, appointments with a medical or legal practitioner;
2. Relocation or make other safety arrangements; or
3. Any other activities associated with the experience of family and domestic violence, including caring for children.

This specific leave is in addition to the existing leave entitlements provided by the business and can be taken in consecutive or single days.

What is required from the Employee?

The employee must let their employer know as soon as possible that leave is required.  This can be even after the leave has already started.

An Employer is entitled to request evidence from the Employee as and when they take family and domestic violence leave. If the employee is not able to provide with the requested correspondence, they may be refused family and domestic violence leave.

The types of documents which could be requested include:

1. Documents issued by police service and/or court;
2. Family violence support service documents; or
3. Statutory declaration.

It is essential that the request for evidence be reasonable and the Employer is taking practicable steps in order to keep any information confidential and handle the situation with sensitivity.

We can help to ensure that you are adhering to the statutory requirements and amending your workplace policies and employment contracts to align with the recent changes.

Our policies and employment contracts are tailored to meet the enterprise agreement and/or awards which apply to the Employees in your workplace.