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10 Days Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave

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Author:  James Sanders, Principal

On 27 October 2022, the Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2022 (‘Bill’) passed both houses of Parliament, and in doing so the Government achieved one of its election promises to increase family and domestic violence leave to 10 paid days of leave each year for all employees.

From 1 February 2023, all employees (other than those in small businesses) will be entitled to take 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave in each 12 month period. The leave will not accumulate from year to year and is not paid out on termination of employment.

Employees of small businesses (being businesses with less than 15 employees) will be entitled to paid leave from 1 August 2023.

Family and domestic violence leave is provided to employees who are suffering from domestic or family violence from a close relative and need time off to:

  1. do something to deal with the impact of the family and domestic violence; and
  2. it is impractical for the employee to do that thing outside the employee’s work hours.

Permanent employees will be paid at their full rate of pay, worked out as if the employee had not taken the period of leave, whilst casual employees will be paid their full rate of pay, worked out as if the employee had worked the hours in the period for which the employee was rostered.

In addition to making the leave a paid leave entitlement and increasing the number of days an employee is entitled to take, the Bill also:

  1. expands the definition of a ‘close relative’ to include a member of the employee’s household and a current or former intimate partner of the employee;
  2. makes it unlawful for an employer to, other than with the employee’s consent, use any information received from the employee for a purpose other than (a) satisfying themselves that the employee is entitled to take the leave, (b) as required by law or (c) to protect the life, health or safety of another person; and
  3. requires that employers do not place any information on an employee’s payslip in relation to the paid family and domestic violence leave.

As family and domestic violence leave is a National Employment Standard, employers who operate under a registered workplace agreement will be required to comply with the greater of the leave entitlement under the NES or any other family and domestic violence leave in their workplace agreement.

If you have any questions in relation to your obligations as an employer, please do not hesitate to contact MST Lawyers’ Employment Law team on 03 8540 0200 or workplace@mst.com.au.