On 28 July 2022, the Federal Government introduced the Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2022 (the Bill). This has not yet been legislated, however if the Bill passes, the legislation will come into force on 1 February 2023 for most employers.
Currently the National Employment Standard (NES) entitles an employee to take 5 days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave per year. The Bill proposes to amend the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) by inserting a non-accumulating entitlement to 10 days’ paid family and domestic violence leave each year, into the NES. This entitlement will be extended to all employees, including casual and part-time employees. Further, employees will be entitled to these leave entitlements up front (i.e. from the commencement of their employment).
According to the Bill, employees will be able to take paid family and domestic violence leave if they:
The Bill proposes to extend the definition of “family and domestic violence” to include conduct of “a member of an employee’s household, or a current or former intimate partner of an employee”.
Further, the rate of pay that an employee will be entitled to when taking paid family and domestic violence leave, is not only the employee’s base rate of pay, but rather the “employee’s full rate of pay, worked out as if the employee had not taken the period of leave”.
The Government also agreed to the proposal for an additional six months’ grace period for small business employers (as defined in section 23 of the FW Act), with the provisions coming into effect for them on 1 August 2023.
To be clear, this Bill has not yet been legislated. ECA Legal will continue to issue updates on this as further announcements are made by the Federal Government.
Disclaimer: This summary is a guide only and is not legal advice. For further information, call ECA Legal on (08) 6241 6129 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.