On the 1st August 2018 a term providing 5 days of unpaid leave to deal with family and domestic violence came into operation in all Modern Awards. This entitlement applies to all employees, including casuals.

Entitlement to Family & Domestic Violence Leave

All employees are entitled to 5 days unpaid family and domestic violence leave per year to deal with family and domestic violence. This type of leave is available in full on commencement of employment, but does not accumulate from year to year. Family and domestic violence means violent, threatening or other abusive behaviour by an employee’s family member that seeks to coerce or control the employee or causes them harm or fear.

Definition of Family Member

A family member for the purposes of this entitlement includes “immediate family” plus former spouses or de-facto partners and their “immediate family” and those related to the employee according to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander kinship rules.

Employers should treat requests for unpaid family and domestic violence leave with confidentiality, as far as it is practicable to do so.

Confidentiality & Best Practice

Whilst this entitlement only strictly applies to Award-bound employers, it is recommended that all employers adopt a broader Leave Policy for all employees as best practice in this area.

Template Leave Policy (Including Family & Domestic Violence Leave Provisions) Available to Subscribers

Evidence Requirements

An employee may be required to produce evidence to prove his/her inability to attend for duty on the days to support the purpose of the unpaid family and domestic violence leave that is claimed. Such evidence may include a document issued by the police, a court or a family violence support service or statutory declaration.

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The information provided in this knowledge base article is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact Employment Innovations for advice.

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