What you need to know
From 2023 onwards, employees will be able to access 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave in a 12 month period:
- full-time, part-time and casual employees are all covered
- for businesses with 15 or more employees this new leave entitlement will start from 1 February 2023
- for smaller businesses with a workforce of 14 or less it will be accessible to employees from 1 August 2023
- up to 10 days of paid leave are available per year
- this category of leave does not accumulate and renews each year on the employee’s work anniversary
- family and domestic violence covers any violent, threatening or other abusive behaviour by the employee’s close relative, current or former partner or a member of their household
- such leave may be accessible during a period of other paid leave, that is, an employee may be able to utilise family and domestic violence leave during a period when they are on annual leave.
What impact does this have on your organisation and people?
This category of leave is accessible almost immediately once a person commences employment. Until such time that the new leave comes into effect, employees will continue to be entitled to 5 days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave.
This leave is for enabling the employee to deal with the impact of family or domestic violence if it is not practical to handle it during work hours. It includes making arrangements for their safety, attending court hearings, accessing police services or attending appointments.
Employees will take their leave at their full pay rate (including incentive-based payments, bonuses, loading, allowances and overtime or penalty rates) for the hours they would have worked had they not been on leave.
Information provided by the employee to the employer including evidence of family and domestic violence shall not be used for any other purpose other than to satisfy the employer of the employee’s entitlement to such leave.
What you should do moving forward
You will need to establish and maintain new processes as well as ensure ongoing training of relevant personnel charged with administering these leave applications in order to:
- ensure that employees are made aware of the availability of such leave and what steps they need to take to apply for such leave
- periodically check for legal updates that may impact on these changes
- ensure that privacy issues raised are dealt with appropriately
- establish what appropriate notifications and supporting documents need to be provided by employees in accessing this leave
- ensure that the organisation’s internal employee handbook addresses the provision of such leave, how it may be accessed and provide guidance on applicable timeframes for notice and evidence requirements.
To find out more, view the Fair Work Ombudsman news release.
Wurth HR provides consulting services to organisations, large and small, to implement processes to manage employment changes such as this. If you require assistance or have a question on this latest development, please contact David Wurth, Principal at Wurth HR.
Mobile: 0407 451 382