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In 2018, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) varied over 100 modern awards to include five days’ unpaid leave to deal with family and domestic violence (see the full update that we posted back in May via this link).

Earlier this year, the FWC began its four yearly review of the Family and domestic violence leave entitlements in modern awards and arrived at a provisional view that the entitlement should be increased to ten days paid family and domestic violence leave.

The FWC invited the Federal Government to clarify whether it intends to vary the National Employment Standards (NES) to provide for paid family and domestic violence leave.

The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Tony Burke wrote to the FWC clarifying the Government’s position and confirmed it intends to amend the NES to provide ten days paid family and domestic violence leave. The Minister stated:

Consistent with the commitments made in the Government's Secure Australian Jobs Plan, the Government intends to introduce 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave into the National Employment Standards as soon as possible.”

In light of this, the FWC has extended the date to formulate a draft model term to 1 July 2022. It is expected that the leave would accrue progressively and roll over year to year (similar to annual leave), however, it would be capped at 10 days.

Federal Parliament is expected to resume next month and the new Labor Government has committed to legislating ten days paid family and domestic violence leave. The Government has also committed to making workplace equality reforms a priority which includes implementing all recommendations from the Respect@Work report.

If you would like more information about the legal implications of the proposed changes and how they may affect your business, please contact our experienced Employment and Workplace Relations team for assistance.

This article was contributed to by Law Clerk, Maida Mujkic.