Proposed changes to the NES' Family and Domestic Violence (FDV) Leave

Edge Legal

04 August 2022

A new bill was introduced to the House of Representatives which seeks to replace the current 5 day unpaid NES FDV leave entitlement with a 10 day paid leave each 12 months for all employees including part-time and casual employees. This entitlement will not accumulate from year-to-year.

The proposed amendment aims to better recognise the impact of family and domestic violence and operates to minimise the disruption and financial impact on employees whilst experiencing family and domestic violence.

Key changes to the current NES’ FDV Leave

If this bill is passed:

  1. employees can access the paid FDV leave (ten days) in full at the start of each 12-month anniversary of their employment;

  2. there will be a broader definition of family and domestic violence, to include violent, threatening or other abusive behaviour by a current or former intimate partner, or a member of the employee’s household; and

  3. non-national system employees and state referral employees will also benefit from this greater entitlement (subject to the enactment of the ratified International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention (No.190) concerning Violence and Harassment).

It is proposed that the FDV paid leave entitlement, once confirmed, will commence:

  • for all employers (who are not small business employers), from and on 1 February 2023; and

  • for all small business employers, from and on 1 August 2023.

Transitional provisions

Understanding and incorporating new/updated entitlements can be a particularly complex process for employers. To assist employers, the new entitlements will likely be packaged with their own transitional provision for various arrangements like:

  1. how the new entitlement is intended to operate for existing employees, all employment types and including employees who have already accessed some of their unpaid FDV leave; and  

  2. mechanisms for resolving uncertainties from the interaction between paid leave and any existing entitlement under an enterprise agreement.

Stay tuned to receive further updates on the progress of these new changes.

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