CHANGES to family and domestic violence leave are now in place, with up to 2.3 million workers covered under modern awards eligible for five days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave per year.

The entitlements began on 1 August 2018 and come after the Fair Work Commission in March handed down its highly anticipated decision on family and domestic violence leave.

The decision means workers will have access to more time to deal with the impact of domestic violence.

Legislation has also been slated for introduction as soon as possible by the Australian Government to amend the Fair Work Act to incorporate a new leave provision, ensuring more than eight million workers covered by the Fair Work Act have access to the same entitlement.

This will see effectively all employees, those covered by an award and non-award covered, entitled to five days unpaid domestic violence leave.

The Fair Work Commission will look at the issue of family and domestic leave again in June 2021, including whether provision should be made for paid family and domestic violence leave in modern awards.

AMMA is aware of greater interests from resource sector employers seeking advice about recognising domestic violence in their workplace arrangements (whether through contracts of employment, policies or enterprise agreements).

To learn more about the implications for employers, click here.

AMMA and the Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) has published a Guide to Flexible Work which outlines 13 work options ranging from more traditional arrangements, such as part-time and casual employment, to more modern arrangements, such as job sharing, a results-only work environment, teleworking, compressed working hours and expanded leave.

The Australian Government-funded national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service 1800 Respect (1800 737 732 and www.1800respect.org.au) is another resource available for employers.

AMMA’s expert workplace relations consultations are on-hand to assist members with the introduction of family and domestic violence leave entitlements for award-covered employees, as well as advise on best practice / industry trends in employer policies and initiatives in this area. For advice and support contact your local AMMA office.