Why is Domestic Leave addressed in the Workplace? 

Domestic and family violence has been high on the governments agenda since last year, with a view to address how workplaces can support victims of domestic violence. With more and more cases everyday this will continue to be front of mind for some time to come.

Late last year, Australia was forced to open its eyes to a national crisis when six women in just five days were murdered. These horrifying statistics resulted in an urgent call for employers to take action to support employees experiencing Domestic Violence.

Do I need a Policy?

So what do employers need to do. If they haven’t already they should ensure that they have a Domestic and Family Violence Policy in place. This is in response to recent legislative change on 12 December 2018 which entitles all employees under the National Employee Standards to five days of unpaid Domestic Violence leave. Some businesses have gone as far as introducing paid leave for victims of Domestic Violence, a trend that will likely see many other businesses following suit.

Equally important is to not pretend it isn’t happening and it won’t effect your workplace. Employers are advised not to bury their heads in the sand on this topic. Whist it may seem uncomfortable, you never always know what is going on with your employees and employers are encouraged to being open to the subject. Don’t be afraid to keep the conversation going so that employees can feel comfortable talking about what maybe going on for them, rather than hiding from it.

Employers are advised to have a policy that is clear and covers areas such as responsibilities of managers and employees, as well as what support the company will undertake for victims and carers.

Currently under the National Employment Standards employees are entitled to 5 days per year of unpaid leave to deal with family and domestic violence.

What if I need help?

For further advice on this or any other type of leave please contact the Employment Toolkits Team on the contact page.

A Domestic and Family Violence Policy Template can be found in our Policy and Procedures Toolkit downloadable on the website.