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NEW LAWS! Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave

18-Sep-2023 16:57 | Cassidy Lau (Administrator)


Important changes relating to paid family and domestic violence leave took effect on 1 August 2023 for small business employers, and for all other employers on 1 February 2023.

A small business employer is one that employs less than 15 employees (including most casuals) both within its own enterprise and the enterprise of any ‘associated entities’.

What are the changes?

The changes mean that all employees (including casuals) are entitled to 10 days’ of paid family and domestic violence leave each year.

Unlike annual leave, however, family and domestic violence leave does not accumulate from year to year, and any unused family and domestic violence leave is not paid out on cessation of employment.

What is family and domestic violence?

In essence, “family and domestic violence” means any violent, threatening or other abusive behaviour that seeks to coerce or control the employee and causes them harm or fear.

It covers any such behaviour towards an employee by a family member, as well as close relatives, current or former intimate partners, or a member of the employee’s household.

Are there any other requirements?

Strict record keeping, eligibility and evidentiary requirements apply when taking such leave including:

  • the employee must demonstrate they need to do something to deal with family and domestic violence which is impractical to do outside their hours of work (including attending medical or legal appointments)
  • an employer can request proof from an employee about the necessity for the family and domestic violence leave
  • the requirement to record the leave as ordinary hours of work on the employee’s payslip while maintaining appropriate internal records regarding leave balances and taken leave


Employers MUST take reasonable steps to keep confidential any sensitive information received from an employee relating to family and domestic violence leave.

In addition, employers MUST only use such information to satisfy themselves that the employee is entitled to family and domestic violence leave, except where required by law, where the employee consents, or where it is necessary to protect the life, health or safety of the employee or another person.


Employers and individuals may be subject to penalties for non-compliance with the new changes.

Recommended Actions

In light of these changes, we recommend that employers:

  • update employment agreements and company policies to cater for this new form of leave
  • train management staff in how to deal with leave requests (noting the sensitive nature of such requests)
  • ensure their leave procedures and payroll records meet the record keeping and evidentiary requirements
  • review record-keeping procedures so as to ensure that all sensitive information relating to leave requests is obtained, stored, accessed and used securely and confidentially


If you have any questions in respect of the above or would like any other employment related assistance, please contact a member of our Matthews Folbigg Workplace Solutions team

DISCLAIMER: This article is provided to readers for their general information and on a complimentary basis. It contains a brief summary only and should not be relied upon or used as a definitive or complete statement of the relevant law.

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