There has been a number of changes proposed by the Government to possibly amend the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), to broaden the scope of an employee’s entitlement to paid family and domestic violence leave. The changes have not come into effect yet, but they may likely be in effect soon.
The current law is that employees are entitled to a maximum of five (5) days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave each year. This entitlement is a National Employment Standard.
Currently, full-time, part-time and casual employees are entitled to take this unpaid leave if they are:
a) Experiencing family violence; and
b) They are required to do something to deal with the impact of violence; and
c) It is impractical for the employee to do that thing outside ordinary hours of work.
In July this year, the Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2022 was put before Parliament. The Bill proposes to amend the Fair Work Act by implementing a number of changes.
The main changes proposed are:
- The introduction of paid family and domestic violence leave. Under the proposed scheme, rather than five (5) days of unpaid leave, employees will be entitled to ten (10) days of paid leave. Family and domestic leave balances will not accumulate from year-to-year, the leave balance refreshes at the beginning of each year.
- Further, the proposed change will extend the definition of family and domestic violence to include behaviour by any member of the household or any current or future intimate partners.
As it stands, the Bill has not yet passed and is not yet law. However, employers should remain vigilant, if the Bill is to be implemented these changes will directly and immediately impact all workforces.
If you are an employer who has an enquiry regarding an employee’s entitlement to family and domestic violence leave, please contact Aaran Johnson or Simon Kumar (contact details below) to discuss how Marsdens can assist your business.
The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Special legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.