Unpaid Family and Domestic Violence Leave

Unpaid Family and Domestic Violence Leave – Now in NES

“The Fair Work Amendment (Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Act 2018 took effect on 12 December 2018. The family and domestic violence leave provisions have now been incorporated into the National Employment Standards.”

Back in August this year (2018) we reported that the FWC had finalised and updated all industry and occupation Awards to include a new clause dealing with family and domestic violence leave provisions.

Family and Domestic Violence leave has now been incorporated into the National Employment Standards under Personal leave (as a form of compassionate leave).

‘Family or domestic violence’ was defined as threatening or other abusive behaviour from a family member (including former ones and de facto partners), including siblings of their partners or spouses.

Employees who are experiencing these issues will have access to up to 5 days of unpaid leave to assist them when dealing with the impacts of domestic violence, for example, court appearances and finding safe accommodation.

The new entitlement applies to all employees (including casuals) and extends the coverage to those employees:

  • covered by enterprise awards
  • covered by enterprise and other registered agreements
  • award and agreement free employees.

The provision of family and domestic violence in the NES largely mirrors the ones inserted into Modern Awards, however some additional provisions under the NES include:

  • For employees who are entitled to leave (‘Victims of Crime’) under a law of State or Territory, this entitlement is to be applied on top of those other forms of leave.
  • The coverage of this entitlement also extends to employees who commenced their employment prior to 12 December 2018.

Please note: The Fair Work Information Statement has been updated to reflect this inclusion to the National Employment Standards. The FWIS is to be provided to employees before, or as soon as possible after, they start their employment. Employers should start using this updated copy for all new employees immediately. Please update the copy in your employment packs or the copy you have saved on your server/computer. To access a copy of the updated statement, please click here.



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