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


This is great news for employees affected by Family Violence. We hope you never have to use it but it is available if needed.