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Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave Begins 1 Feb

Is your business ready?

In late 2022 the Federal Parliament passed significant reforms to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) – the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill, on 1 Feb the addition of Paid Family & Domestic Violence Leave begins.

From 1 February 2023, employees of non-small business employers (employers with 15 or more employees on 1 February 2023) will have access to 10 days of paid Family & Domestic Violence Leave (FDVL). These entitlements will be available to full-time, part-time, and casual employees, on an annual, non-accumulative basis.

The FDVL becomes available to small business employees on 1 August 2023.

Employees (including part-time and casual employees) can take this paid leave if they need to do something to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence.

As an example, this could include the employee:

  • making arrangements for their safety, or the safety of a close relative (including relocation)
  • attending court hearings
  • accessing police services
  • attending counselling
  • attending appointments with medical, financial, or legal professionals.

The new provisions define family and domestic violence as meaning violent, threatening, or other abusive behaviour by an employee’s close relative, a current or former intimate partner, or a member of their household that both:

  • seeks to coerce or control the employee
  • causes them harm or fear.

There are also now rules about information that must not be included on an employee’s pay slip relating to paid FDVL. As an employer, you will need to keep a record of leave balances and any leave taken by your employees. However, pay slips must not mention family and domestic violence leave, including any leave taken and leave balances.

Key Points About Paid Family & Domestic Violence Leave

  • FDVL will be accessible to all employees
  • It will not be pro-rated – all employees will have access to the full 10 days
  • FDVL is available upfront, it does not accrue and is available in full from commencement, renewing on the employee’s anniversary date
  • Payable at the employee’s wage rate (instead of being payable at base rates)

References: Fair Work Ombudsman, Employer Guide to Family & Domestic Violence, A workplace family and domestic violence checklist

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