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Changes to family and domestic violence leave in Australia

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From today, Australian permanent and casual employees working for non-small business employers can access 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave (FDV Leave) every 12 months to deal with the impacts of family and domestic violence. This new entitlement replaces the previous National Employment Standards entitlement to 5 days of unpaid FDV Leave.

Employees of small-business employers (i.e. employers with less than 15 employees on 1 February 2023) can access paid FDV Leave from 1 August 2023. Until then, employees of small-business employers can continue to access 5 days of unpaid FDV Leave.

While on paid FDV Leave an employee is entitled to be paid at their full rate of pay for the hours they would have worked, or in the case of casual employees, their rostered hours. An employee’s full rate of pay includes loadings, overtime or penalty rates, allowances, and incentive payments and bonuses.  

Employees are required to notify their employer as soon as possible of the requirement to take FDV Leave. This notification can be before or after leave has started. Employers can ask to see documentation or some other form of evidence to satisfy themselves that the employee is entitled to FDV Leave.

New rules also apply from today regarding what may be recorded in an employee’s payslip with respect to family and domestic violence. While employers should continue to keep a record of when an employee takes FDV Leave, this should simply be identified as paid leave on the employee’s payslip without characterising or referring to the leave as being FDV Leave.  

For further information and assistance in understanding how these changes impact your business, please contact our Employment and Labor Team.

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