From today, employers on the South Coast and across the country with 15 or more employees must provide 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave in a 12-month period.
Employees of smaller businesses, with less than 15 employees will need to provide the leave from the 1st of August 2023.
Professor Kate Fitzgibbon from Monash University said access to the the federal Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Act 2022 that comes into effect today (1 February 2023) provides important recognition that employers have a responsibility to support victim-survivors during and in their recovery from violence.
“Today’s legislation represents a key step in building more effective and accessible workplace supports for domestic violence victim-survivors,” Professor Fitzgibbon said.
“Experiences of violence impact victim-survivors’ engagement in work and also their performance and career progression,” she said.
“Access to 10 days paid leave provides important recognition that employers have a responsibility to support victim-survivors during and in their recovery from violence.
Full-time, part-time and casual employees will be able to access 10 days of paid leave that won’t be pro-rated for part-time or casual employees.
The full 10-day leave entitlement will be available upfront and will not accumulate from year to year if it’s not used.
From today (1 February 2023), there are rules about information that must not be included on an employee’s pay slip relating to paid family and domestic violence leave.
Employees will continue to be entitled to 5 days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave until they can access the new paid entitlement.
Professor Kate Fitzgibbon said paid domestic violence leave provides important recognition in workplaces across Australia that employees may need time off work if they are experiencing any form of domestic violence.
“This legislation will contribute to creating a safe and supportive workplace environment for Australians who experience domestic violence,” Professor Fitzgibbon said.
“As always, implementation and monitoring will be key to the success of this legislation,” she said.
“It is imperative that paid domestic violence leave is embedded alongside a suite of workplace supports to ensure that victim-survivors are supported to maintain paid employment during and following their experience of domestic violence.
“This legislation is a key component of the important role that Australian workplaces can play in addressing the national crisis of violence against women.”
Employees can take this paid leave 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 appointments with medical, financial or legal professionals.
The new leave will be independently reviewed after 12 months to consider the impacts on small businesses, sole traders and people experiencing family and domestic violence.
For more information on the federal Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Act 2022 click HERE.
Images: Anthony Albanese