Access 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave each year.

From the start of February 2023, employees of non-small business employers experiencing family and domestic violence ('FDV') will be able to access up to ten days of additional paid leave each year as part of updates to the National Employment Standards contained in Part 2-2 of the Fair Work Act (2009) ('the Act'). This leave will replace any previous entitlement to five days of unpaid FDV leave each year.

Paid FDV leave can be taken from the date employment commences - there is no need for it to accumulate over time. The leave entitlement does not accumulate from year to year if it is not used. Paid FDV leave can also be accessed by part-time and casual employees.

Employees of small business employers will be able to access this leave from 1 August 2023. Until then, they can continue to access the five days of unpaid FDV leave.

When can FDV leave be taken

Section 106B(1) of the Act states employees can access paid FDV leave if:

(a) They are experiencing FDV; and
(b) They need to do something to deal with the impact of the FDV; and
(c) It is impractical for them to do that thing outside of their work hours.

Examples of things to deal with the impact of FDV include;

  • Arranging for their safety, or the safety of a close relative, including relocation;
  • Attending court hearings;
  • Accessing police services;
  • Attending counselling; and
  • Attending appointments with medical, financial, or legal professionals.

Section 106B(2) of the Act defines FDV as violent, threatening, or other abusive behaviour by a close relative of an employee, a member of an employee's household, or a current or former intimate partner of an employee, that:

(a) Seeks to coerce or control the employee; and
(b) Causes the employee harm or to be fearful.

Section 106B(3) of the Act defines close relatives as persons who are:

Members of the employee's immediate family, defined in Section 12 of the Act to include an employee's:

  • Spouse or former spouse;
  • De facto partner or former de facto partner;
  • Child;
  • Parent;
  • Grandparent;
  • Grandchild;
  • Sibling;
  • Current or former spouse or de facto partner's:
    • Child;
    • Parent;
    • Grandparent
    • Grandchild;
    • Sibling; or
    • Related to the employee according to Aboriginal or Torres Strait islander kinship rules.

Evidence Requirements

Per Section 107(3)(d) of the Act, employers can ask for evidence that would satisfy a reasonable person that the employee's circumstances meet the criteria for FDV set out in Sections 106B(1)(a), (b) and (c). The Fair Work Ombudsman website lists that types of evidence can include:

  • Statutory declarations;
  • Documents issued by the police service or a court; or
  • Family violence support service documents.

Employers have a duty under Section 106C of the Act to ensure any information disclosed as part of any notice or evidence concerning the taking of FDV leave is treated confidentially, as far as it reasonably practicable to do so. Any such information must also not be used for a purpose other than satisfying itself that the employee is entitled to paid FDV leave, unless:

  • The employee gives consent to do so;
  • The employer is required to do so by another Australian law; or
  • It is necessary to protect the life, health or safety of another person.

Where assistance is available

1800RESPECT is the national domestic, family and sexual violence counselling, information and support service.

If you or someone you know is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic, family or sexual violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit

If you have any questions surrounding FDV leave entitlements, including updating payroll systems, updating employment contracts, interactions with other kinds of leave, or you have any general questions you'd like answered, please do not hesitate to contact your trusted Hall Chadwick advisor.