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Universal Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave Commences 1 August 2023

Since 1 February 2023, employers with 15 or more employees have been required to provide their employees with 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave (FDVL) per year as part of the latest addition to the National Employment Standards (NES). From 1 August 2023, the FDVL entitlement extends to small business employers with 14 or less employees. The FDVL entitlement for small business employers is the same as their large business counterparts.

What do small business employers need to know? 

The new form of paid leave:

  1. is accessible by all employees including casuals who have been ‘rostered’ (eg. have accepted an offer to work)
  2. is not a ‘pro-rata’ entitlement, that is, it is available in full for all employees (including casual employees)
  3. is available ‘upfront’ meaning the leave does not accrue and is available in full (10 days of pay) from commencement, renewing on the employee’s anniversary date
  4. is payable at the full rate of pay that the employee would have earned had they worked instead of taking the leave (instead of being payable at base rates).

Employees (including part-time and casual employees) can take this paid leave if they are experiencing family and domestic violence and they need to do something to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence in circumstances where it would be impractical for them to do that thing outside their work hours.

As an example, this could include the employee:

  • making arrangements for their safety, or the safety of a close relative (including relocation)
  • attending court hearings
  • accessing police services
  • attending counselling
  • attending appointments with medical, financial or legal professionals.

What is meant by the full rate of pay?
Full-time and part-time employees can take paid family and domestic violence leave at their full pay rate for the hours they would have worked if they weren’t on leave.
Casual employees will be paid at their full pay rate for the hours they were rostered to work in the period they took leave.

An employee’s full pay rate is their base rate plus any:

  • incentive-based payments and bonuses
  • loadings
  • monetary allowances
  • overtime or penalty rates
  • any other separately identifiable amounts.

Record Keeping
Employers need to keep a record of leave balances and any leave taken by employees. However, pay slips must not mention family and domestic violence leave, including any leave taken and leave balances. This is to reduce the risk to an employee’s safety when accessing paid family and domestic violence leave.

On a pay slip, when an employee takes FDVL, it is to be recorded as:

  • ordinary hours of work; or
  • another kind of payment for performing work, such as an allowance, bonus or overtime payment.

It must not be reported on a pay slip as an amount paid to the employee for taking a period of leave unless the employee has requested the employer to report the amount on the pay slip as an amount paid for taking a period of a particular kind of leave (other than a period of paid family and domestic violence leave).

It is best practice for employers to issue their pay slips in a way that makes the pay slip look as close as possible to how it would have looked if the employee had not taken the leave.

If you are concerned or require clarification on what this means for your business, please call the ASGA Workplace Advice Line between 8:30 – 5:30PM local time, wherever you are in Australia, to speak to an expert from AB Lawyers.  FREE CALL 13 29 59, identify yourself and quote Account Number 1110000085353

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