New Rules for FDV Leave

New Rules for FDV Leave

Family or domestic violence is an anathema that society as a whole is still struggling to stamp out.

Physical, emotional or financial abuse can pervade all aspects of a victim’s life. The workplace is no exception.

The Fair Work Commission has recently ruled that organisations must allow up to five days of unpaid leave each year for all employees experiencing family or domestic violence.

In the summary explaining its decision, the Commission said:

One in four women in Australia have experienced family and domestic violence (almost 2.2 million women). 

Domestic and intimate partner homicides represent the highest proportion of any category of homicides in Australia. 

At least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner.  

Family and domestic violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and ill-health among Australian women aged between 15 and 44. 

Such violence not only affects those who suffer it, but the children who are exposed to it, extended families, friends and work colleagues.

It is an issue that impacts on workplaces and which requires specific action.

The full summary (and its sources) can be found here.

That action, the five days of unpaid leave, will;

  • apply to all employees (including casuals);
  • be available in full at the commencement of each 12-month period rather than accruing progressively during a year of service;
  • not accumulate from year to year; and
  • be available in full to part-time and casual employees (i.e. not pro-rated).

The Full Bench decided to defer consideration of whether employees should be able to access paid personal/carers leave for the purpose of dealing with family and domestic violence.

CCER will continue to update you on the introduction of the model clause for unpaid domestic violence leave for award-based employees.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our Employment Relations Specialists at or 9390 5255.


The following is a list of contacts and services that provide support and counselling to people affected and experiencing family or domestic violence:


Catholic Care

Provides support and advice to people experiencing family violence, plus counselling for perpetrators. Phone: 13 18 19



A national counselling service for people who have experienced sexual assault, or family or domestic violence. Phone: 1800 737 732. Webchat also available.



National Crisis Service. Phone 13 11 14. Webchat also available (from 7pm to 12am).


Emergency Services – 000

Please call the emergency services if you are in danger.


White Ribbon

Advocacy and Support Service.


Penda App

This free app, developed in Australia, combines financial, personal safety and legal information with nationwide referrals. Available for download from Google Play or Apple’s App Store.

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