From the 12 December 2018, all employees are entitled to take unpaid leave as a result of domestic violence.
WHAT IS FAMILY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Family and domestic violence refers to violence, abuse and intimidation between family members as well as people who are or have been in an intimate relationship.
Historically, family and domestic violence has been considered a taboo subject. An issue not to be discussed and its existence was to be hidden behind closed doors. Fast forward to the present, public perceptions surrounding family and domestic violence has slowly, but surely, developed. With increased social awareness of its effects, family and domestic violence is now considered a major health and welfare issue.
WHAT IS THE NEW ENTITLEMENT?
Under the Fair Work Amendment (Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Act 2018, all employees are entitled to take 5 days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave per year.
WHO IS ENTITLED TO UNPAID LEAVE?
As of 12 December 2018, the entitlement has been extended to all employees. This includes part-time and casual employees.
WHEN CAN YOU TAKE THE LEAVE?
Employees are entitled to take 5 days leave from work, allowing them time to deal with the effects of family and domestic violence. This will enable victims of family and domestic violence to access medical, counselling and police services, as well as time to relocate and attend court hearings during work hours.
NEXT STEPS FOR AUSTRALIA?
The new entitlement is reflective of Australia placing an increased focus on domestic violence and the effects it has on its victims. However, the grim reality is that family and domestic violence is still a major issue throughout Australia today. According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner. Advocacy group, White Ribbon Australia, encourages the creation of a national homicide review panel so that we, as a country, may work toward preventing future instances of domestic homicide.
If you are a victim of family or domestic violence, or have any queries relating to the issues featured in this article, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time on 02 8917 8700 or fill out the enquiry box and we will get back to you ASAP.