Domestic violence leave takes effect

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Domestic violence leave takes effect

From today, all employees covered by modern awards will have access to a new form of leave to deal with family and domestic violence.

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From today, all employees covered by industry and occupational modern awards will have access to a new form of leave to deal with family and domestic violence.
 
The finalisation of the new entitlement follows the Fair Work Commission’s decision in July 2017 to reject the ACTU’s claim for 10 days' paid leave.
 
The new entitlement will be to five days' unpaid leave, accessible where an employee: 
 
a) is experiencing family and domestic violence 
b) needs to do something to deal with the impact of the family and domestic violence, and 
c) it is impractical for the employee to do that thing outside his/her ordinary hours of work.
 
This could include making arrangements for their safety or the safety of a family member (including relocation), attending urgent court hearings, or accessing police services.
 
Julian Arndt, senior associate at Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors, said the new entitlement differed from standard forms of leave under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) in that it:
  • is available ‘in full’ (i.e. five days) at the start of each 12-month period of an employee’s employment
  • applies to all employees, including casuals, and
  • does not accumulate from year to year and does not accrue during a year.

Things to consider


Mr Arndt said the clause also places obligations on employers to take steps to ensure that information collected in relation to the taking of leave remains confidential, as far as is reasonably practicable.
 
He said employers should consider whether they have adequate policies and processes in place to ensure that any requests received in relation to the new entitlement are dealt with appropriately and sensitively.

Where to go for help?


Contact Austalian Business Lawyers & Advisors on 1300 565 846 if you require further advice.
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