There are new laws giving employees paid family and domestic violence leave.
Eligible employees are entitled to 10 days paid leave in a 12-month period, and it is not subject to accrual (i.e. they can access the full 10 days at any time, as long as they started employment when or after the new laws come into effect). The paid leave entitlement will renew on the employee’s work anniversary and is not carried over into the next year if unused.
When will the new laws come into effect?
For small businesses (less than 15 employees), the leave entitlement is available from 1 August 2023. For all other employers it is from 1 February 2023.
Eligible employees and evidence required
Employees can take the leave if they need to do anything to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence, such as attending court hearings or making arrangements for their safety. Employers can ask for evidence that shows the employee took the leave to deal with family and domestic violence. Types of evidence can include:
- a statutory declaration,
- documents issued by the police service,
- documents issued by a court, or
- family violence support service documents.
Full-time and part-time employees are paid their full pay rate for the hours they would have worked if they weren’t on leave. Casual employees are paid their full pay rate for the hours they were rostered to work.
Pay slip requirements
In order to reduce risks to the employee’s safety, employers should be cautious about how information regarding paid family and domestic violence leave is recorded on pay slips and what information must not be included. Importantly, pay slips must not specify paid family and domestic violence leave, including any leave taken and leave balances. Unless the employee requests otherwise, employers should record the leave taken on a pay slip as ordinary hours of work, or another kind of payment, such as an allowance, bonus or overtime payment.
Employers must take reasonable steps to keep confidential the information that they receive when an employee takes this leave, unless required by law to disclose or necessary to protect the life, health or safety of the employee or another person. This includes:
- information about the employee giving notice that they’re taking the leave;
- any evidence they provide.
This Circular is produced for guidance purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice. Legal advice should be sought for individual circumstances. For tailored advice for your Practice, please contact us at [email protected].