The Fair Work Commission has provided a provisional view that employers engaging staff across 123 different awards will be required to provide 10 days of paid family and domestic violence (FDV) leave. The FWC has outlined its ‘next steps’ for FDV leave to be filed on 1 July 2022.
The FWC cited the introduction of the family and domestic violence leave will “help individuals to maintain their economic security, to access relevant services and to safely exit a life free from FDV”.
The proposed FDV paid leave would apply only at this stage to permanent employees and would be paid at the base rate of pay. The leave would accrue annually. It is proposed that modern awards be varied to provide all employees with 10 days’ paid FDV leave in a 12-month period and up to 5 days’ unpaid FDV leave on a per occasion basis. While the leave would accrue from year to year, it would not exceed 10 days.
Currently employees under the Fair Work Act, who are dealing with the impact of family and domestic violence can:
- take 5 days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave each 12 month period;
- take paid or unpaid personal/carer’s leave, in certain circumstances;
- request flexible working arrangements.
Benefits to Employers
The benefits to employers responding to family and domestic violence that impacts the workplace can include:
- improved outcomes for employees affected by family or domestic violence;
- improved productivity, staff engagement and work satisfaction;
- reduced illness and absenteeism;
- reduced staff turnover, resulting in lower recruitment and training costs; and
- reduced legal liabilities.
As an Employer its best to be prepared for the proposed Family Domestic Violence paid leave with further announcements to come from FWC expected later in the year.
Its important for employers to:
- understand your legal obligations as an employer.
- develop a workplace policy that provides a response to support employees experiencing family and domestic violence.
- review your workplace policies, safety plans and procedures.
If you need advice regarding the introduction of Family Domestic Violence Leave for your business please don’t hesitate to contact our Workplace Law team.
For further information please contact Danny Clifford, Director.
The assistance of Nicole Ferraro, Law Clerk in researching this article is gratefully acknowledged.