The Fair Work Commission has made great strides forward by recently announcing the introduction of unpaid family and domestic violence leave.
To be added to most awards, the new leave entitlement will enable those dealing with family and domestic violence the opportunity to take up to five days unpaid leave a year.
The new family and domestic violence leave entitlement will come into effect from the first full pay period on or after 1 August 2018.
What is family and domestic violence?
The Fair Work considers family and domestic violence to mean 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.
Who’s entitled to the leave?
All employees, including casual employees covered by industry and occupation awards will be entitled to take unpaid family and domestic violence leave.
It will not apply to employees covered by the following;
- Enterprise awards
- State reference public sector awards
- Registered agreements
- No award or agreement
Employees covered by an agreement may have alternative paid or unpaid leave entitlements they can access in similar circumstances and should check their agreement on the Fair Work Commission website (https://www.fwc.gov.au/awards-and-agreements/agreements).
How it works?
From the first full pay period on or after 1 August 2018, employees on industry and occupation awards will be entitled to the full 5 days of unpaid leave.
The five days of unpaid leave is renewed annually but any unused days from any given year, do not accumulate to the next.
Employees do not have to take all five days at once, the leave can be taken as single or multiple days.
The purpose of the leave is to allow employees impacted by family and domestic violence to manage related concerns when it is impractical to do so outside of their ordinary hours of work.
Does it impact an employee’s continuous service?
No, unpaid family and domestic violence leave doesn’t break an employee’s period of continuous service. However, when taking the unpaid leave entitlements, it does not count as service when calculating accumulated entitlements such as paid leave.
This article is prepared by Definitiv. Contact Definitiv on 1300 125 307 for more information.