Paid leave for family and domestic violence starts

Domestic violence leave

Ten days of paid domestic violence leave will come into force as of today.

From 1 February workers for large or medium businesses will have access to this new entitlement.

The measure, which will impact at least seven million employees, is seen as crucial to support workers, overwhelmingly women, to leave violent relationships.

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Tony Burke said paid family and domestic violence leave was a long overdue change.

“Paid family and domestic violence leave is a workplace entitlement that will save lives.

The measure will allow victims of family violence to take time off work without losing income and without losing their jobs.”

The Government is working closely with stakeholders and the Fair Work Ombudsman to ensure employers and employees have appropriate support to understand the new obligations and rights, the Minister said.

Small businesses with fewer than 15 employees have an extra six months to adjust to the change, with the start date for those employees being 1 August.

On average, it costs $18,000 to escape a violent relationship in Australia and economic security is a key factor determining whether a person can escape a dangerous relationship.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said one woman dies every 10 days in Australia at the hands of their former or current partner – these women are often employed and are in our workplaces.

“Employers have an increasingly important role here. The connection with work, the payment of wages, is really important in keeping stability in the lives of those experiencing violence when they are attempting to leave a domestic violence situation,” she said.

Key points:

  • All workers – full time, part time and casual – will have access to 10 days leave, regardless of whether they work a 38-hour week, or fewer hours.
  • The full 10-days is available immediately when a worker needs it, rather than accumulating over a period like annual and sick leave does.
  • There are rules in place to keep workers information private including that FDV leave must not be included on an employee’s pay slip.
  • Full-time and part-time employees can take paid FDV leave at their full pay rate for the hours they would have worked if they weren’t on leave, while casual employees will be paid at their full pay rate for the hours they were rostered to work in the period they took leave.

Workers in small businesses continue to have access to five days of unpaid domestic violence leave until their inclusion in the paid scheme from 1 August.

If you or someone you know is affected by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit

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