New Changes to the Australian Workplace: Family and Domestic Violence

As a Law Firm we believe we have a responsibility to notify you whenever there is a change in the legal world, particularly if we think it could affect you.

As of the 1st August 2018, the Fair Work Commission has made a new change to Australian Workplaces. There will be a new clause providing five days of unpaid leave each year, to all employees covered by an award, experiencing family and domestic violence. This new clause applies from the first full pay period on or after 1 August 2018.

So what is classified as family and domestic violence? The Fair Work Commission has defined Family and Domestic violence as “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.”

Additionally, a family member includes: an employee’s spouse or former spouse, de facto partner or former de facto partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, an employee’s current or former spouse or de factor partner’s child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling, or a person related to the employee according to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander kinship rules.

Ultimately, this clause is to ensure employers display goodwill in accepting the leave necessary for employees to face their family and domestic violence issues. The Commission explained that “retaining employment is an important pathway out of violent relationships. Conversely, a lack of financial security has an adverse impact on the ability to recover from family and domestic violence.”[1]

If you believe this new leave option affects you then we are more than happy to have a private and confidential discussion, please contact us on (08) 7001 6135.

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