Do your policies, pay slips and contracts reflect the changes to paid family and domestic violence leave?
Full-time, part-time and casual employees will soon be able to access 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave in a 12-month period. The leave will be applicable from:
✔ 1 Feb 2023 for employers with 15 or more employees
✔ 1 Aug 2023 for employers with less than 15 employees
This leave can be taken by employees if they need to do something to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence. This could include, for example, the employee:
- making arrangements for their safety, or the safety of a close relative (including relocation)
- attending court hearings
- accessing police services
- attending counselling
- attending appointments with medical, financial or legal professionals.
Businesses need to understand their obligations. The following information is a helpful starting point:
The 10-day leave entitlement is available upfront. It won’t accumulate from year to year if it’s not used. The leave renews every year on each employee’s work anniversary. It also will not be pro-rated for part-time or casual employees.
Relationship with existing unpaid leave entitlement
This new entitlement will replace the existing entitlement to 5 days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave under the National Employment Standards. Employees will continue to be entitled to 5 days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave until they can access the new paid entitlement.
Full-time and part-time employees can take paid family and domestic violence leave at their full pay rate for the hours they would have worked if they weren't on leave.
Casual employees will be paid at their full pay rate for the hours they were rostered to work in the period they took leave.
An employee can use paid family and domestic violence leave during a period of paid personal/carer’s or annual leave. If this happens, the employee is no longer on the other form of paid leave and is taking paid family and domestic violence leave instead. The employee needs to give their employer the required notice and evidence.
Notice and evidence requirements
Employees need to advise their manager that they are taking family and domestic violence leave as soon as practicable, and also advise of their expected period of absence.
Where requested, the employee must give their manager evidence that would satisfy a reasonable person that the leave was taken to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence and it’s not practical to do that outside their hours of work.
Types of evidence can include:
- documents issued by the police service
- documents issued by a court
- family violence support service documents, or
- a statutory declaration
From 1 February 2023, Employers must ensure that their pay slips do not mention family and domestic violence leave as the leave type on the pay slip. This is to reduce the risk to an employee’s safety when accessing this paid leave.