Government to legislate for unpaid family and domestic violence leave

27 September 2018

The Federal Government has introduced the Fair Work Amendment (Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2018 (Bill) to Parliament to honour the commitment to provide all national system employees with five (5) days of unpaid domestic violence leave per year. This will be by proposed amendment to the National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Act 2009.

The Bill follows the recent decision of the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission to insert a standard clause in all modern awards to provide award covered employees with up to five (5) days unpaid family and domestic violence leave per year.

The proposed new entitlement will be aligned with the Commission’s standard award clause and will:

  • provide five days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave in a 12 month period;
  • apply to all categories of employees, including casual employees;
  • be available in full at the commencement of each 12 month period, rather than progressively throughout the year;
  • not accumulate from year to year; and
  • be available in full to part-time and casual employees, rather than pro-rated.

Implications for employers

The final version of the proposed law may be amended by Parliament. The Bill can be tracked through the Parliament of Australia’s website.

Employers should prepare for the introduction of unpaid family and domestic violence leave, check and as necessary amend policies or contracts, and ensure that modern award covered employees are already being provided this entitlement if requested.

For further information concerning the unpaid family and domestic violence leave entitlements for modern award covered employees, please see EMA Legal’s previous Legal Alert “Unpaid Family and Domestic Violence Leave”.

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