New unpaid family & domestic violence leave entitlement in awards

Update on leave entitlement

Under the National Employment Standards (NES), all employees can now take unpaid leave to deal with family and domestic violence, regardless of whether or not they're covered by an award. This follows a recent change to the Fair Work Act 2009.

Please note that the information on this page was published on 27 July 2018, prior to the introduction of the recent change on 12 December, and relates to award covered employees only.

For more information about all employees’ entitlement to unpaid family and domestic violence leave under the NES, visit our Family & domestic violence leave page.

Most employees can now take unpaid leave to deal with family and domestic violence, following a Fair Work Commission decision external-icon.png.

The Fair Work Commission have updated all industry and occupation awards to include a new clause about family and domestic violence. This new clause applies from the first full pay period on or after 1 August 2018.

Who does it apply to?

The new entitlement applies to all employees covered by an industry or occupation award.

It doesn't apply to employees who are:

What's the new entitlement?

Employees covered by an award with the new clause are entitled to 5 days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave each year. Family and domestic violence 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.

Employees can take the leave if they need 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?

Go to our Family and domestic violence leave section for information about the new clause, including details about:

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

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More information

You can read the July 2018 Fair Work Commission decision external-icon.png and the final determinations on the Fair Work Commission's family and domestic violence clause website page external-icon.png.

Confidential information, counselling and support for people impacted by domestic and family violence is available at the 1800 RESPCT website external-icon.png, the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.

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