Notice & evidence for family & domestic violence leave

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.

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.

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

Read below for information on this page below to find out what applies now.

If an employee takes family and domestic violence leave under the new family and domestic violence leave clause, which takes effect from the first full pay period on or after 1 August 2018, they have to let their employer know as soon as possible. This can happen after the leave has started. Employees also need to tell their employer how long they expect the leave to last.

Evidence requirements

An employer can ask their employee for evidence that shows the employee took the leave to deal with family and domestic violence. If the employee doesn't provide the requested evidence, they may not get family and domestic violence leave.

The evidence has to convince a reasonable person that the employee took the leave to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence.

Types of evidence

Types of evidence can include:

  • documents issued by the police service
  • documents issued by a court
  • family violence support service documents, or
  • a statutory declaration.

Employers can ask employees to provide evidence for as little as 1 day or less off work.

Confidentiality

Employers have to take reasonably practicable steps to keep any information about an employee’s situation confidential. This includes information about the employee giving notice that they’re taking the leave and any evidence they provide. Employers are not prevented from disclosing information if:

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

Employers need to be aware that any information about an employee's experience of family and domestic violence is sensitive. If information is mishandled, it could have adverse consequences for their employee. Employers should work with their employee to discuss and agree on how this information will be handled.

For information about workplace privacy, including best practice guidance on privacy principles, obligations about providing information to third parties and privacy in relation to email and the internet, read our Workplace privacy best practice guide.

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

Think a mistake might have been made?

Mistakes can happen. The best way to fix them usually starts with talking.

Check out our Help resolving workplace issues section for practical advice on:

  • figuring out if a mistake has been made
  • talking to your employer or employee about fixing it
  • getting help from us if you can't resolve it.

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