The Fair Work Commission has updated various Industry Awards to include a new clause allowing employees to take unpaid leave to deal with family and domestic violence. This new clause applies from the first full pay period on or after 1 August 2018.

Who does it apply to?
The new entitlement applies to all Award employees (including casuals).  However, with your own internal policies, you may offer this to all other staff (eg. salaried staff).

What’s the new entitlement?
Employees covered by an award with the new clause are entitled to 5 days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave each year, starting from the day they start work. Family and domestic violence means violent, threatening or other abusive behaviour by an employee’s family member that:

  • seeks to coerce or control the employee
  • causes them harm or fear.

Payroll implications

This new leave is not accrued, it does not accumulate and it won’t count towards service when calculating leave.  However, continuous service still applies.

Employees can apply for single days or multiple days, up to 5 days in any one year.

For our clients, under advice, we have now included this leave as a new leave type called ‘Special Domestic Leave (LWOP)’ in your payroll system.  Applications for this leave must also have supporting documentation eg. stat dec, court order.

We suggest however you manage this on a case by case basis when the need arises.

For further information, please go to

For our clients, if you require HR assistance with regards to this, please contact

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