This year sees the introduction of 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave for full-time employees.
The new legislation aims to protect workers from lost income while dealing with the incredibly stressful circumstances of domestic violence.
In this blog post, our small business accountants in Melbourne will provide an overview of the new rules, including how leave is accrued, how it can be used, and when the roll-out will end.
We’ll also discuss how the new rules affect both employers and employees, as well as the benefits of offering Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave (PFDL) to employees.
Finally, we’ll answer some FAQs on the topic, and provide resources to help employers meet their obligations under the new rules.
If you need support with small business accounting, including introducing the new legislation to your team, get in touch with Bruce Edmunds & Associates today.
Call (03) 9589 5488 or submit an enquiry online.
Overview of Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave (PFDL)
In 2022, the Albanese Government passed The Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2022 to amend the previous Fair Work Act 2009.
In summary, the Bill provides full-time employees with 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave.
The new rules will protect workers from lost income while dealing with incredibly stressful circumstances.
In this blog post, Bruce Edmunds & Associates will take you through the new rules, including how leave is accrued, how it can be used, and when the roll-out will end.
If you’re a business owner who needs help ensuring they are meeting the latest regulations for your employees, speak to our business accountants in Melbourne for guidance.
How the new rules will affect employers and employees
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relationships, the Hon Tony Burke MP, says that the new leave entitlements are a long overdue change that supports employees – primarily women – from the dangers of domestic violence.
There is plenty of support and resources available to ensure that both businesses are aware of their obligations and employees of their rights.
What are the benefits of offering PFDL to employees?
Domestic violence can come in many forms, including physical, financial, emotional, and psychological.
The regulations have been formulated to address the impact of domestic violence on an individual’s professional life, in addition to their personal life.
Such impact includes:
- The way in which they commute to and from their workplace
- Concentration and focus
- Feelings of fatigue, stress, and depression
- Physical injuries
- The possibility of subpar performance
Subpar performance may also have repercussions on future employment prospects.
FAQs on Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave
When did the changes come into effect?
The changes are rolling out in two phases; phase one was completed in February 2023 while phase two occurs from 1st August 2023.
Phase one: non-small businesses
The changes to paid family and domestic violence leave are available for employees of non-small businesses as of 1st February, 2023.
Please note that Fairwork.gov.au defines a ‘non-small business employer’ as one with more than 15 employees at any one time.
Phase two: small businesses
For businesses with less than 15 employees, the changes will come into effect from 1st August, 2023. Until this time, employees will continue to follow existing rules of unpaid family and domestic violence leave.
How does it work?
From the relevant start date (either 1st February 2023 or 1st August 2023, depending on the business type in which you are employed), you will have access to up to 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave.
The paid leave is available immediately; it does not need to be accrued from the start date.
It does not accumulate yearly. It is allocated on the relevant start date above and will renew yearly, on the anniversary of an employee’s start date with the business.
Here’s an example to illustrate how the leave works
Tammy was employed full-time by a non-small business on 10th July, 2017.
Because she is employed by a non-small business, she had access to 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave from 1st February 2023.
She used 1 day of leave on 8th March 2023 so her balance was reduced to 9 days.
On 10th July, 2023 – the anniversary of the start date of her employment – her leave renews to 10 days. It will renew yearly on this date; it will not accrue.
What can the leave be used for?
The leave may be used for anything related to dealing with the impact of family or domestic violence. This may include:
- Relocating and finding new accommodation
- Meeting with a lawyer or seeking legal advice
- Seeking medical care
- Attending court
- Attending counselling
- Arranging care for children
Need help meeting your obligations as an employer?
There is plenty of information available to help business owners like you make the transition and for small businesses to prepare for 1st August.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has helpful resources to assist businesses of all sizes, including the Employer Guide to Family and Domestic Violence.
Our business accountants can offer advice and guidance to ensure you meet the obligations of your business.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au.