Getting Familiar With Family and Domestic Violence Leave

Family and domestic violence in Australia is something we take very seriously. It covers violent, threatening, or other such abusive behaviour by a relative or close family member that seeks to exercise control, intimidate, or harm them.

New employment legislation was recently introduced stating that workers, casual and permanent hires alike, have access to 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave each year. This is a change from the five unpaid days employees currently have access to.

Current Entitlements

According to the National Employment Standards, all employees are entitled to 5 days of unpaid family, and domestic violence leave each year. This applies to all types of employees and is available from the first day of employment, renewing on the anniversary of employment. If it’s not used, it does not accumulate from year to year. The employee affected can choose to take the days all at once or split them up into one or more days.

Current FDV leave is separate from annual leave, sick and carer’s leave, and bereavement leave. It is applicable if the employee needs to make arrangements for their safety or the safety of a close relative if they need to access police services or attend court hearings.

Employers may ask employees for evidence that they have been impacted by family and domestic violence and are, therefore, qualified to take leave. Evidence may include documents provided by the court, police, or a family violence support organisation. If an employee cannot provide evidence, they may not receive approved time off work.

Changes in 2023

The Albanese government introduced changes to the National Employment Standards in July 2022, providing workers with 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave every year. These changes will come into effect on 1 February 2023 for most businesses or 1 August 2023 for businesses that employ less than 15 people.

With this change, all employees are entitled to 10 days of paid leave from the day they begin employment, and these ten days will renew on the anniversary of their employment. Much like the old rule, these days, do not accumulate year by year. While on leave, an employee will be paid at their total rate, and the leave may be taken as ten straight days or be broken up into periods of one or more days.

Putting Employees First

As a supermarket owner, your priority should be ensuring that your employees are safe – at work and home. If you have an employee who is experiencing family and domestic violence, direct them to:

1800 Respect: 1800 737 732
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1800 787 3224

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