News - 5 Days Leave for the Vulnerable

From 12 December 2018, the National Employment Standards (NES), under the Fair Work Act 2009, provides all employees, who are experiencing family and domestic violence, with a right to take up to five days as unpaid leave.  In some circumstances, the employee may take this unpaid leave to assist a close relative who is experiencing the family and domestic violence.  A few of the qualities to the unpaid leave are:

  • Upon the employee giving the employer notice and evidence of the need, the employee is entitled to the leave, regardless of length or status of employment (ie. full time, part time or casual);
  • The leave is available in part or full, during each 12 month period of the employee’s employment but it does not accumulate from year to year; and
  • Employers must treat the employee’s notice and evidence with confidentiality.

Some ready examples for where the employee may need the leave, include:

  • To make safety arrangements for herself / himself or a family member; and
  • To attend upon Police, lawyers and other services; and
  • To attend Court.   

This is great news for employees, who have previously thought that they should deal with their family and domestic violence issues in silence.


Written by Jennifer Hartley, Senior Associate, Family Law Division