New Family and Domestic Violence Leave Bill passed in Parliament

On 6 December 2018 the Fair Work Amendment (Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2018 (the Bill) passed both Houses of Parliament.

The Bill won’t become law until it receives Royal Assent by the Governor-General.

What are the changes?

When the Bill receives Royal Assent, it will change the Fair Work Act 2009 external-icon.png to include an entitlement to unpaid family and domestic violence leave in the National Employment Standards (NES).

The new entitlement will apply to all employees (including part-time and casual employees). Employees will be entitled to 5 days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave each year.

Family and domestic violence is violent, threatening or other abusive behaviour by a close relative of an employee that:

  • seeks to coerce or control the employee
  • causes the employee harm or to be fearful.

A close relative of the employee is a person who:

  • is a member of the employee’s immediate family, or
  • is related to the employee according to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander kinship rules.

Employees will be able to take the leave if they need to do something to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence and it's impractical to do so outside their ordinary hours of work.

Where can I find more information?

We’ll update our website with more information when the Bill receives Royal Assent and the new law applies. Please keep visiting our website in the coming days.

On 1 August 2018, all industry and occupation awards were updated to include unpaid family and domestic violence leave. This entitlement applies now to people covered by industry and occupation awards. Go to our Family and domestic violence leave section for information about this entitlement, including details about:

  • who it does and doesn't apply to
  • when and how the leave can be taken
  • notice and evidence requirements.

Staying up to date

We’re working on updating our resources and the Fair Work Information Statement to reflect the changes when the new law applies. Subscribe to email updates about ‘new products and resources’ to be notified of key updates. If you’re registered with My account you can subscribe to information updates and manage your subscriptions when you log into My account

Want to save this information for later?

If you might need to read this information again, save it for later so you can access it quickly and easily.


Page reference No: 8763