What is paid domestic violence leave?

Paid domestic violence leave is a new paid leave system introduced for employees to take paid days off of work if they need to do something to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence.

All employees of non-small business employers (more than 15 employees) can access 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave each year. This includes part-time and casual employees.

When employees become eligible for this paid leave, it replaces their previous entitlement to 5 days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave.

The entitlement to paid family and domestic violence leave comes from the National Employment Standards (NES). It's a minimum leave entitlement, like paid annual leave or paid sick and carer's leave.

When is paid domestic violence leave available?

You can access paid family and domestic violence leave from 1 February 2023.

If you have been employed before 1 February 2023, you can access the 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave immediately.

If you start work for a non-small business employer after 1 February 2023, you can access 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave from the day you start work.

For example, if you start on 1 June 2023, your paid leave entitlement is available from then. It then renews every year on your work anniversary.

Who can take paid domestive violence leave

You can take paid domestic violence leave if you are an employee of a non small business employer and you need to do something to deal with the impact of the family and domestic violence during ordinary working hours.

For example, this could mean attending Court, accessing police services, attend counselling, or to obtain legal, financial or medical advice and assistance.

What is considered family and domestic violence?

Family and domestic violence can present in many forms including physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, social, cultural, spiritual or financial. It can be also be facilitated through technology. Examples can include:

  • physical violence
    • physically hurting or restraining
    • sleep or food deprivation or forced feeding
  • sexual assault or sexually abusive behaviour
    • unwanted touching or rape
    • unwanted exposure to pornography
    • sexual jokes or using sexually degrading insults
  • verbal abuse
    • putting the person down and calling them names
    • shifting the responsibility for abusive behaviour onto the victim
  • emotional or psychological abuse
    • making the person feel afraid by using looks, actions and gestures
    • making light of the abuse or saying the abuse didn't happen
  • stalking
    • visiting at work in inappropriate ways
    • sending repeated upsetting phone calls/emails/texts
  • financial abuse
    • stopping the person from getting or keeping a job
    • making the person ask for money or restricting their access to money, for example by managing any allowance they get
  • spiritual or cultural abuse
    • preventing the person from practising their religion or ridiculing their religious beliefs or practices
    • misusing spiritual or religious beliefs and practices to justify other types of abuse and violence
  • serious neglect where there is a relationship of dependence
    • withholding access to the person's money or belongings
    • not allowing services to help someone
  • damage to property or belongings
    • threatening damage to property
    • breaking, hiding or damaging belongings
  • technology assisted abuse
    • using technology, such as smart phones, social media and apps to threaten, isolate, abuse, track or stalk the victim
    • using technology to control what the victim does, who they see and talk to, what they read
  • abuse or threatened abuse of pets
    • threatening to harm or kill pets
    • injuring, killing or abducting pets
  • behaviour by a person using violence that causes a child to be exposed to the impact of family and domestic violence
    • using children to send messages
    • using visitation rights to harass the victim or threatening to take children away.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.