Family & Domestic Violence Leave

Written by: Institute Certified Bookkeepers

The Fair Work Commission has approved a new unpaid leave entitlement for employees dealing with family and domestic violence.

This comes into effect on 1 August 2018.

The New Entitlement

Employees covered by an award that includes this clause are entitled to 5 days unpaid leave each year.

Note: This leave is unpaid.


For domestic and family violence situations – those involving violent, threatening, or abusive behaviour by members of the employees’ family.

The criteria include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • making arrangements for safety for themselves or family member
  • attendance at court hearings
  • accessing police service


This can directly involve the employee themselves in the situation, or they may be helping another family member deal with the situation.

All employees – including casuals that are covered by industry or occupation award – will be covered. It does not apply to employees who are covered by:

  • enterprise awards
  • state reference public sector awards
  • enterprise and other registered agreements
  • or are award and agreement free

Impact of Unpaid Leave

You may find some businesses will pay their employees for taking time off for family violence, however, if it is unpaid leave, then all other entitlements stop accruing.

Therefore, this does disadvantage the employee, as they will receive less annual, personal, and long service leave. Equally, if the day off falls on a public holiday, then there is a chance that the public holiday is unpaid as well.

Please refer to the appropriate Award for exact information

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