Paid family and domestic violence (FDV) leave is coming

Laws, regulations & standards

Paid FDV leave is coming for full-time and part-time employees.

In May, the Fair Work Commission made a provisional ruling that full-time employees should have the the right to 10 days paid FDV leave per year, with part-time employees to have a pro-rata entitlement. This ruling resulted from an FDV leave review process that began in April 2021 and was also part of the four-yearly review of modern awards.

Paid FDV leave would accrue in the same way that personal or carer's leave accrues, with a 'cap' to ensure the total accrual never exceeeds 10 days.

Next steps

The Commission has asked interested parties (such as the ACTU and employer groups) to formulate a draft model FDV term for insertion into awards. It also wants clarification from the Commonwealth Government about whether it intends to amend the National Employment Standards to include paid FDV leave, which would remove the need to individually modify 123 awards.

The case for paid FDV leave

The Commision's 20-page Summary of Decision contains statements such as the following, which explain why the argument in favour of paid FDV leave is so convincing.

"Since the age of 15, approximately one in 4 women (or 2.2 million women), compared to one in 13 men, have experienced at least one incident of violence by an intimate partner. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an increase in the prevalence of FDV."

" ... the Full Bench finds that an entitlement to paid FDV leave provides significant assistance to those experiencing FDV in that it helps individuals to maintain their economic security, to access relevant services and to safely exit to a life free from violence. The Full Bench also finds that the introduction of paid FDV leave is likely to be of some, albeit difficult to quantify, benefit to employers by reducing the absenteeism and lost productivity caused by FDV."

For more information

The Commission's news item Family and domestic violence leave review 2021 decision issued has links to more information including their full Decision document and the Summary of Decision.