Introduction of Family and Domestic Violence Leave 2023

2 February 2023

Family and domestic violence are at epidemic proportions in Australia. 1 in 6 women (2.13 million) and 1 in 16 men (786,000) experience family and domestic violence in their lifetime. To support employees further, Fair Work Australia has introduced Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave.

All employees in the Fair Work system, including part-time and casual employees, will be entitled to 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave in a 12-month period. This new entitlement replaces the existing entitlement to five days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave under the National Employment Standards (NES).

Employees are entitled to the full 10 days upfront, meaning they won’t have to accumulate it over time. The leave does not accumulate from year to year if it is not used.

When does it apply?

  • Small businesses (less than 15 employees) 01 August 2023
  • Larger businesses (more than 15 employees) 01 February 2023

What do I put on my employee’s payslip?

From 1 February 2023, there are rules about information that must not be included on an employee’s pay slip relating to paid family and domestic violence leave. This is to reduce the risk to an employee’s safety when accessing paid family and domestic violence leave.

Employers need to keep a record of leave balances and any leave taken by employees. However, pay slips must not mention family and domestic violence leave, including any leave taken and leave balances.

What evidence can I ask for?

When an employee is looking to take paid family and domestic leave, they must let their employer know as soon as possible. An employer can ask for evidence, this can only be used to satisfy the employer that the employee is entitled to this leave. Evidence that could be asked for includes but not limited to

  • Medical certificates
  • Documents issued by police services or a court
  • Statutory declaration.

Benefits for the business and employees

There are many benefits for a workplace when the health, safety and wellbeing of employees is prioritised. The benefits to employers that respond appropriately to family and domestic violence include:

  • improved outcomes for employees affected by family or domestic violence
  • improved productivity, staff engagement and work satisfaction
  • reduced illness and absenteeism
  • reduced staff turnover, resulting in lower recruitment and training costs
  • reduced legal liabilities
  • support from the employer
  • reduced stress for the employee knowing they have paid leave to use in the circumstances.

What support can I offer?

If the employee feels comfortable, offer a confidential chat to see how they are going. Another option is to offer a list of resources. 1800 RESPECT is Australia's national domestic, family and sexual violence counselling, information and support service. Anyone can call 1800 737 732 or reach out via the online chat on their website. Additionally, take a look at our mental health resources page.

Notifying your staff

The Fair Work Information Statement from Fair Work Australia must be supplied to all new employees when they begin their employment or earlier.

New casual employees must be supplied the Fair Work Information Statement and Fair Work Information Statement for Casuals from Fair Work Australia when they begin their employment or earlier.

It might be a good idea to re-issue these updated statements to existing employees to ensure they're aware of new leave entitlements.

More information

Contact the Workplace Relations Team on 1300 30 50 10 for more information about these changes, or to get advice about your specific business needs.

Major Sponsors