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Understanding Family and Domestic Violence Leave

Overview of Family and Domestic Violence Leave

Family and domestic violence leave forms part of the Fair Work Act – National Employment Standards (NES). All employees (including casual employees) are entitled to Family and domestic violence leave.

A paid entitlement of 10 days paid Family and domestic Violence leave has been introduced for all employees (includes casual employees). The paid leave entitlement comes into force as follows:

  •   Effective 1 February 2023 (for non-small businesses)
  •   Effective 1 August 2023 (for small businesses)

For small businesses, until 1 August 2023, employees can continue to take up to 5 days unpaid family and domestic violence leave. 

When can an employee access paid family and domestic violence leave?

An employee may access paid family and domestic violence leave if they need to do take actions or do something to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence leave. This could include:

  • making arrangements for their safety, or the safety of a close relative (including relocation)
  • attending court hearings
  • accessing police services
  • attending counselling
  • attending appointments with medical, financial or legal professionals.


Notice and Evidence an employer can request

An employee must give notice to the employer as soon as practicable and must advise the employer of the period, or expected period, of the leave.

An employer can request evidence that would satisfy themselves that the leave taken or requested is to deal with family and domestic violence.

Examples of types of evidence:

  • any court or police documents; or
  • report from a doctor; or
  • letter or email from family and domestic violence support services, or
  • a statutory declaration.


Employers must ensure that information received from an employee concerning any notice or evidence provided to access family and domestic violence leave is treated confidentially, as far as it is reasonably practicable to do so.

Employers are not prevented from disclosing information provided by an employee if:

  • it’s required by Australia law, or
  • is necessary to protect the life, health or safety of the employee or another person.

Continuous service

When an employee takes family and domestic violence leave, it does not break their period of continuous service with the employer.

Need Help?

Ensure you are aware of your rights and obligations as an employer when managing family and domestic violence leave request or when you become aware of an employee experiencing family and domestic violence leave in the workplace. For advice and guidance on this call our Employer Advisory Service on 1300 116 400.


Got any Questions?

We’ll be happy to help. Complete the form and one of our trusted advisors will contact you.

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