The Fair Work Commission (FWC) recently announced that it had formed a “preliminary view” that paid Domestic/Family Violence Leave should be inserted into all Awards. This has been incorrectly reported that such leave will be available to all Award covered employees from 1 July 2022.
The actual situation is that the FWC has not determined when it should be made available. The Commission also left the door open for the Federal Government to legislate for such paid leave by amending the National Employment Standards (NES).
At the moment five (5) days unpaid Domestic Violence Leave is available as part of the NES, and, following the FWC decision, the Federal Government has announced that they will insert paid leave into the NES but again, they have not specified how much leave will be available. Although the Labor Party said it supported 10 days Domestic Violence Leave prior to the election it has not publicly stated that it will amend the NES to provide this amount since it won Government.
We fully expect however that the Government will introduce a bill into parliament during this year to amend the NES to provide 10 days Domestic/Family Violence Leave per annum (non-cumulative). We also expect this amendment, when passed, to apply from 1 January 2023.
In the meantime, we also anticipate that the Federal Modern Awards will eventually be amended to provide for Domestic/Family Violence Leave of 10 days per annum (non-cumulative) but we can’t presume when it will apply from. This will depend on how long it takes to get a finalised order negotiated by the ACTU with Employer groups and approved by the FWC. It is a fairly safe bet however that this will not be finalised before August 2022.
As soon as a final order is issued by the FWC with certainty as to the date such paid leave will be available to employees, we will advise all members immediately.
Please remember that even though paid leave is yet to be finalised, all employees are currently entitled to unpaid leave in situations where they are subject to domestic or family violence. If you have any queries in relation to this leave or any other employment related matter please remember to contact our IR Advice hotline.