From 1 August 2018 domestic violence leave entitlements commence

28 August 2018

From the first full pay period on or after 1 August 2018, employers are required to provide eligible employees unpaid domestic violence leave.

Who is eligible to take domestic violence leave?

Employees are eligible for the entitlement where they:

  1. are covered by an award with the new family and domestic violence leave clause;
  2. are full-time, part-time or casual; and
  3. need to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence, and it is impractical to do so outside their ordinary hours of work.

    E.g. The employee needs to make arrangements for their safety or the safety of a family member (including relocation), attend a court hearing, or access police services.

What is the entitlement?

  • Employees may take 5 days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave each year of their employment.

    Note: Employees are entitled to the full 5 days from the day they start work; the leave is provided on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis and does not carry over from year to year.

  • Employees do not need to take all the leave at once; the leave can be taken as single or multiple days.
  • An employer and employee can also agree for an employee to take less than 1 day at a time, or for the employee to take more than 5 days.

What are the employee’s obligations?

  • An employee who wants to take domestic violence leave must let their employer know as soon as possible, although this may occur after the leave has started.
  • An employee must tell their employer who long they expect the leave to last.
  • Upon request, an employee must provide evidence that shows the employee took the leave to deal with family and domestic violence.

    Note: Examples of evidence include documents issued by the police service, documents issued by a court, family violence support service documents, or a statutory declaration.

Other issues

Continuous service

Although unpaid family and domestic violence leave does not break an employee’s period of continuous service, it does not count as service when calculating accumulated entitlements such as paid leave.

Other types of leave

Employees eligible to take domestic violence leave may request to take other types of leave, such as annual or personal leave.


Information about an employee’s experience of family and domestic violence is sensitive. Employers should work with their employee to discuss and agree on how this information will be handled.