Employees have had an entitlement to unpaid family and domestic violence leave (FDVL) for some time as part of the National Employment Standards (NES). This converts to a paid leave entitlement from 1 February 2023 for larger employers and 1 August 2023 for small employers (fewer than 15 employees).
The new law allows ten days of paid leave every 12 months, but the leave does not roll over and accumulate.
The full pay rate will apply as if the employee had worked as usual on the day of the leave.
The NES will include the paid leave and will be revised by February. All employees will be eligible for the entitlement.
The new FDVL means employees can take time off to deal with the impacts of domestic violence or abuse if they need to take care of things during working hours. This includes attending court, accessing police or support services, or making arrangements for the safety of oneself or close relatives.
The definition of family and domestic violence has also been changed, with the highlighted words added: "Family and domestic violence is violent, threatening or other abusive behaviour by a close relative of an employee, a member of an employee's household, or a current or former intimate partner of an employee, that (a) seeks to coerce or control the employee; and (b) causes the employee harm or to be fearful".
FDV Leave Eligibility and Proof
Applies to all employees, permanent and casual.
Close relatives include a spouse, partner, former partner, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent or sibling; or the child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of a current or former spouse or partner. Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal kinship relatives are also included.
The leave is available as soon as an employee starts with an employer.
Employees must inform the employer as soon as possible about the need for FDVL and the expected length of leave.
The employer can ask for evidence such as police, court, or support service documents, or a statutory declaration, even if the leave period is less than a day.
What does this mean for my business or organisation? Employers must ensure they comply with the new laws and provide the enhanced benefits to relevant employees. We suggest you prepare ahead of the new changes by:
educating and training managers on the content of the new laws and how to deal with applications for the leave;
reviewing and updating systems, policies and procedures to ensure compliance;
communicating the relevant changes to staff;
implementing record-keeping arrangements to track FDV leave taken;
from 1 February 2023, follow rules about information that must not be included on an employee’s pay slip relating to paid family and domestic violence leave; and
continue to provide employees 5 days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave until they can access the new paid entitlement
provide all new employees with the applicable updated Fair Work and Casual Employment Information Statements from 1 February 2023 to reflect the new paid leave entitlement.
Book a time with us if you’d like to start planning for these payroll changes in 2023.
This post was originally published / written by BOMA and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.