Taking family and domestic violence leave

Find out when employees can take paid family and domestic violence leave and how it interacts with other leave entitlements.

Support services

1800RESPECT is the national domestic, family and sexual violence counselling, information and support service. If you or someone you know is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic, family or sexual violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au.

Paid family and domestic violence leave

All employees can take 10 days of paid leave from the first day they start work. They don’t have to accumulate the leave over time.

The employee’s entitlement to this leave renews every 12 months. It doesn’t accumulate from year to year if it isn’t used.

Example: Taking paid family and domestic violence leave

Pooja starts work on 30 March at a construction company in a part-time role. She’s entitled to 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave from the first day she starts work.

In June, Pooja takes 2 days of paid family and domestic violence leave. The next week, she takes another day. Her leave balance has reduced to 7 days.

On 30 March the following year, Pooja’s paid family and domestic violence leave balance renews to 10 days. The 7 days she didn’t use during her first year of employment aren’t carried over into the next year.

When employees can take paid leave

Employees must be experiencing family and domestic violence to be eligible to take paid family and domestic violence leave.

These employees can take this paid leave if they need to do something to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence and it’s not practical for them to do so outside of their work hours.

For example, this could include:

  • making arrangements for their safety, or safety of a close relative (including relocation)
  • attending court hearings
  • accessing police services.

The leave doesn’t need to be taken all at once. It can be taken as single or multiple days.

An employer and employee can also agree for an employee to take less than one day at a time.

Continuous service

Paid family and domestic violence leave doesn’t break an employee’s period of continuous service. It also counts as service when calculating accumulated entitlements, such as paid annual or personal/carer’s leave.

This paid leave will also count towards an employee’s hours worked in that week for the purposes of calculating overtime.

Interaction with other types of leave

Employees experiencing family and domestic violence can use this leave during a period of other approved paid leave. Examples of paid leave are sick or carer’s leave or annual leave.

If this happens, the employee is no longer on the other form of paid leave and is taking paid family and domestic violence leave instead. The employee needs to give their employer the required notice and evidence.

For more information on these types of leave, go to:

Employees might also want to access flexible working arrangements. Flexibility in the workplace allows employers and employees to make arrangements about working conditions that suit them. Learn more at Flexibility in the workplace.

Payment for leave

Full-time and part-time employees are paid their full pay rate for the hours they would have worked if they weren't on leave.

Casual employees are paid their full pay rate for the hours they were rostered to work.

An employee’s full pay rate is their base rate plus any:

  • incentive-based payments and bonuses
  • loadings
  • monetary allowances
  • overtime or penalty rates
  • any other separately identifiable amounts.

Example: Casual employee payment for leave

Demi is a casual employee at a fast-food chain outlet.

Demi needs to take 5 days of leave one week to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence. During the 5 days Demi takes leave, she had been rostered to work 25 ordinary hours at the restaurant.

Demi’s employer needs to pay Demi her base pay rate, plus 25% casual loading for the hours Demi was rostered to work that week. Demi also needs to be paid any other loadings, allowances or other amounts that she would have been paid had she worked her rostered hours.

Demi’s balance of paid family and domestic violence leave is reduced by 5 days. The leave renews to 10 days on her annual work anniversary.

Example: Payment for leave at full pay rate

Riley is a full-time retail assistant at a clothing store. Their hours of work are 9am to 5pm, Wednesday to Sunday.

Riley needs to take 5 days of leave one week to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence.

Riley needs to be paid their base pay rate for all hours they would have worked, plus the penalty rates that applied for those hours. Under the Retail Award, this is:

  • a 25% penalty rate for working 9am to 5pm on Saturday
  • a 50% penalty rate for working 9am to 5pm on Sunday.

Riley also needs to be paid any other loadings, allowances or other amounts that they would have been paid if they'd worked instead of taking leave.

Riley's balance of paid family and domestic violence leave is reduced by 5 days. It renews to 10 days on their work anniversary.

Pay slip requirements

There are rules about information that must not be included on an employee’s pay slip relating to paid family and domestic violence leave. This is to reduce the risk to an employee’s safety when accessing paid family and domestic violence leave.

Learn the rules that apply from our Pay slips page.

Tools and resources

Related information

Have a workplace problem?

Problems can happen in any workplace. If you have a workplace problem, we have tools and information to help you resolve it.

Check out our Fixing a workplace problem section for practical information about:

  • working out if there is a problem
  • speaking with your employer or employee about fixing the problem
  • getting help from us if you can't fix the problem.

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