FWC Update – Introducing Domestic Violence Leave for Award-covered employees

This week, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) confirmed that Domestic Violence Leave will be included in Modern Awards in the future.  So what does this mean for your business?  Find out more …

In a Nutshell:

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has recently completed its four-yearly review of modern awards and has ruled that domestic violence leave will be covered by modern awards moving forward. The FWC has acknowledged the seriousness of domestic violence as a social issue stating in their summary that “The circumstances faced by employees who experience family and domestic violence require a special response”.


What do I need to know?

This decision has not yet come into effect as the FWC is still in the process of drafting a model term. Once it does come into effect, workers covered by modern awards will have access to five (5) days of unpaid domestic violence leave per year.

This entitlement will be available to both permanent and casual employees alike and will be available in full at the commencement of each 12 month period, however it will not accumulate from year to year.


How does this affect me?

Once a model clause is drafted and approved, you will need to allow for all employees to access this entitlement for domestic violence leave.

In accessing this leave, you will be entitled to ask employees to provide evidence to support the leave application. Whilst the FWC has not specified exactly what evidence could be requested, it is likely to align with other evidence requested under awards – evidence that “would satisfy a reasonable person”.


What do I need to do?

Whilst this decision has not yet come into effect, it’s not too soon to understand these upcoming changes and making preparations for communication and support of this provision with your employees. Some items you may consider in the lead up to this change:

  • Review of existing policies and procedures dealing with entitlements such as leave;
  • Provide information, whether verbal or written, to employees regarding how this new entitlement will interact with their existing entitlements; and
  • Update the ‘back end’ of your accounting or record keeping system to include domestic violence leave, ready for when these changes come into effect.


Keep an eye out for further updates from your Seed People Consultants regarding the effective dates of these changes and feel free to reach out if you would like some support in preparing for these changes.  You can contact us at yourteam@seedpeopleconsulting.com.au or call us on 02 4967 6695.

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