As an employer in Australia, it’s essential to be aware of the legal obligations and entitlements related to family and domestic violence leave.
The Australian Government has introduced a new entitlement that provides employees with 10 days of paid leave in a 12-month period, starting from 1 February 2023 for businesses with 15 or more employees and from 1 August 2023 for companies with fewer than 15 employees.
In addition, The Fair Work Act provides minimum entitlements for employees working in small businesses dealing with family and domestic violence. These include five days of unpaid leave each 12-month period, flexible working arrangements, and paid or unpaid personal/carer’s leave in certain circumstances.
Importantly, only employees experiencing family and domestic violence are entitled to take leave, and employers must seek legal advice if two employees in a relationship with each other request to take leave.
When an employee takes leave, they must inform their employer as soon as possible and provide evidence, if requested. Employers must also take reasonable steps to keep any information confidential and work with employees to agree on handling the information.
As a small business employer, you should familiarize yourself with the legal responsibilities and entitlements, provide necessary leave entitlements and support, seek legal advice if necessary, request evidence from employees if necessary, and work with employees to handle the information about their situation.
Remember, supporting employees experiencing family and domestic violence is a legal and moral responsibility. Being informed and compassionate can help your employees feel supported during difficult times. If you have any questions, speak to a NatRoad Advisor.