7 Key Points on the new Family and Domestic Violence Leave Entitlements in Modern Awards

The Fair Work Commission has added a new clause to all Industry and Occupation Awards to bring in an entitlement to unpaid family and domestic violence leave. What this means is that employees experiencing family or domestic violence will be able to take 5 days unpaid leave each year, for the purpose of dealing with the impact of such violence.

UPDATE (18 December 2018): On 12 December 2018 the National Employment Standards were updated to include an entitlement to Family and Domestic Violence leave for all employees. See our blog post December 2018 update to the National Employment Standards. Between 1 August 2018 and 11 December 2018 the entitlement was limited to employees covered by Industry or Occupational Awards as per the original content of this article below.

Below are the 7 key points about the Family and Domestic Violence leave entitlement:

    1: All full time, part time and casual employees covered by Industry or Occupational Awards are entitled to the leave
    2: The full entitlement is available at the start of each 12 month period of the relevant employee’s employment; it is not accrued over time.
    3: The entitlement is not pro-rated for part time or casual employees
    4: The leave doesn’t have to be taken all at once
    5: An entitlement that is not used in full during a 12 month period is not carried over; it doesn’t accumulate from year to year
    6: The entitlement is effective from the first pay period after 1 August 2018.
    7: This is not paid leave.

Employees who need to use this leave entitlement are required to:

    1. Contact their employer to advise they are taking the leave, as soon as possible, even if this is after the leave has started
    2. Advise their employer how long they expect to be on leave
    3. Provide evidence of the need for leave if requested by their employer.

It is important that employers recognise the sensitivity of this subject and treat any situations of employees requesting or taking Family and Domestic Violence leave with utmost confidentiality. Fair Work suggests that employers receiving requests for Family and Domestic Violence leave discuss and agree with the relevant employee/s how the information is to be handled.

Please note the following employees covered by the following are not entitled to the new Family and Domestic Violence Leave but may have some provision in themselves:

Employees who are Award and Agreement Free have no entitlement to Family and Domestic Violence leave.

Further information can be found on the Fair Work website at https://www.fairwork.gov.au/leave/family-and-domestic-violence-leave.

If you have any questions about leave entitlements, call us 03 5339 3200 or contact us here.

Thanks for reading.

By Genna Kidd

The information contained on this website has been provided as general advice only.  The contents have been prepared without taking account of your personal objectives, financial situation or needs.  You should, before you make any decision regarding any information, strategies or products mentioned on this website, consult your own financial advisor to consider whether that is appropriate having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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