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Fair Work Changes Come into Effect – Family and Domestic Violence Leave

From August 1, 2023, changes to the Australian National Employment Standards (NES) have come into effect that will alter the nature of employee entitlements for Family and Domestic Violence Leave.

Employees of Australian business with a team of 14 or fewer staff will now be entitled to take up to ten (10) days of paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave. This is increased from the five (5) days of unpaid leave previously available to Australian workers.
For businesses with 15 or more employees, these changes came into effect in February 2023, however, given most beauty salons in Australia employ less than 15 employees, the introduction of this amendment would have occurred August 1, 2023.

The amount paid is calculated on an employee’s full base rate. This entitlement applies to full-time, part-time and casual employees. The full leave entitlement is available to all employees immediately.
Unlike sick leave, this Family and Domestic Violence Leave does not need to be accrued. The leave will renew every year on the individual employee’s employment anniversary date; however, the leave does not accumulate if it is not taken.

According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, under the new provisions, an employee is experiencing family and domestic violence if the employee’s close relative, current or former intimate partner, or member of their household both:

  • Seeks to coerce or control them and cause them harm or fear.
  • Is violent, threatening or behaves in another abusive way.

Economic security is a key factor determining whether a person can escape a dangerous relationship. Across Australia, 62 percent of women have experienced or are currently experiencing domestic and family violence are in the paid workforce, but according to The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), it costs $18,000 on average to escape a violent relationship in Australia.

Family and domestic violence largely remains a women’s issue, with one in four women having experienced some form of violence since the age of 15 by an intimate partner, according to Australian Services Union Assistant National Secretary, Emeline Gaske.

“Australia has a serious problem with women’s safety and gender equality.”
Australian Services Union Assistant National Secretary Emeline Gaske

Domestic violence is still far too common and even more prevalent in the beauty industry due to the number of women in the sector. While gainful employment plays a vital role in a woman’s ability to maintain independence, a stable workplace can be the only safe space for victims, and work colleagues can be the best support networks.

More information on how an employee can go about taking Family and Domestic Violence leave is available on the Fair Work website.

For support, contact 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit their website.



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