I am dealing with family and domestic violence and it is impacting my ability to effectively function at work. What can I do?

I am dealing with family and domestic violence and it is impacting my ability to effectively function at work. What can I do?

All industry and occupation awards have been updated to include a new clause entitling employees to take unpaid leave to deal with family and domestic violence.

The changes apply from 1 August 2018.

Does it apply to me?

The new entitlement applies to all employees (including part-time and casual employees) covered by an industry or occupation award. These awards can be found on the Fair Work Commission’s List of awards. If you are unsure of which award applies to you, you can use the Fair Work Commission’s Find my award to assist you.

The entitlement does not apply to employees who are:

  • Covered by Enterprise awards
  • Covered by State reference public sector awards
  • Covered by enterprise and other registered agreements
  • Not covered by an award or agreement

However, you may be entitled to other paid or unpaid entitlements in your award or agreement. Your contract or your employer’s workplace policy may also allow you to take family or domestic violence leave.

What is the new entitlement?

The new clause entitles you to 5 full days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave each year. You can take the leave if you need to deal with the effects of family and domestic violence and its impractical to do so outside of work hours.

You are entitled to this leave from the day you start work as opposed to having it accrue progressively. The 5 days renew every 12 months but does not carry over into the next year if unused.

What is family and domestic violence?

Family and domestic violent means violent, threatening or other abusive behaviour by an employee’s family member that:

  • Seeks to coerce or control the employee
  • Causes them harm or fear
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