On 26 July 2018, the Fair Work Commission made a determination whereby employees are entitled to up to five days of unpaid leave to deal with family and domestic violence, with the amended modern employment awards taking effect on 1 August 2018.

Since 1 August 2018, employees are permitted to take leave from work if they are experiencing family and domestic violence or are required to manage the impact of the violence that is impractical to do outside their normal work hours.

Who is entitled?

Under the awards, the leave extends to any employee, including casual and part time workers.  It is not a requirement that a minimum length of service is needed before being entitled to such leave and the leave renews every 12 months but does not carry over every year.

An employee who wishes to take this leave is required to provide their employer with sufficient notice and evidence of their need for the leave.   Evidence includes documents issued by the police or by court, a statutory declaration and family violence support service documents.

Who is not entitled?

A number of awards and agreements do not include the new unpaid leave entitlement.  These include Enterprise awards, State reference public sector awards, employees covered by agreements and award and agreement free employees.  Despite not being entitled to such leave, employees may still have rights to similar leave.

When can leave be taken?

The Fair Work Ombudsman has indicated that activities associated with family violence to which leave may be taken include making arrangements for the employee and or their family members, attending urgent court hearings or accessing police services.

If you require further information on leave entitlements please contact one of our friendly staff at Bambrick Legal today.

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