Domestic violence leave now available to employees

Domestic violence leave now available to employees

From 1 August 2018, all employees covered by modern awards have access to family and domestic violence leave. Here's what you need to know.

This new entitlement follows the Fair Work Commission’s decision to reject the ACTU’s claim for 10 days’ paid leave. Instead, workers are entitled to take up to five (5) days of unpaid leave in circumstances where they’re experiencing a situation of family or domestic violence and need to do something to deal with the impact of the violence. This could include seeking urgent alternate accommodation, attending a court hearing or accessing police services.

Importantly, this new type of leave is different from other forms of leave like annual leave or personal/carer’s leave in that it is available in full at the start of each 12-month period. It is also available to casuals and does not accumulate from year to year.

The employee may be required to provide evidence that the leave is being taken for legitimate purposes. Such evidence may include documents issued by the court, police, a domestic violence service or a statutory declaration. There are also confidentiality requirements to which employers much adhere.

While the impact of the Fair Work Commission’s decision should be minimal, it’s a reflection of the ever-changing workplace relations landscape. It also reflects the community’s view that we need to respond collectively to the impact of domestic violence and provide the support victims and families require in their time of need.




The Fair Work Commission’s decision affects both the Real Estate Industry Award and the Clerks – Private Sector Award. Copies of these awards containing the new provision can be downloaded from the REEF People Management System.



A number of template documents available via the People Management System have been updated to reflect this new leave provision:

  • Employment agreements
  • Leave application form
  • Employee handbook
  • Leave policy


Fact Sheet

The Leave entitlements fact sheet has also be updated to explain the new leave provision. To access it, login to the People Management System.


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About REEF

The Real Estate Employers' Federation is the real estate industry’s leading not-for-profit employer and workplace relations advisory association. It has more than 1600 members and subscribers across Australia.

Each year, REEF receives more than 20,000 calls from real estate employers needing help and guidance on matters affecting the employment relationship.

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