Domestic and family violence leave

What is domestic and family violence leave?

Domestic and family violence leave is available as part of the Queensland Employment Standards provisions of the Industrial Relations Act 2016 (Qld) (the Act) for employees who have experienced domestic and family violence and as a result, require leave.

What can domestic and family violence leave be used for?

Leave may be used for a variety of reasons including:

  • recovering from an injury caused by the violence
  • attending an appointment related to the violence (eg. counselling, legal advice, medical treatment or police matters)
  • preparing for a court appearance related to the violence
  • attending court for a proceeding related to the violence
  • finding alternative housing
  • organising child care or the education of a child.

Is domestic and family violence leave paid or unpaid?

Domestic and family violence leave may be paid or unpaid depending on how much leave is taken and the way in which the employee is employed.

What is the entitlement to paid leave?

Full-time employees, who are not casuals, are entitled to a maximum of 10 days paid domestic and family violence leave per year.

Part-time employees are entitled to a proportion of the full-time entitlement based on hours worked (pro rata).

What is the entitlement to unpaid leave?

A long term casual employee* is entitled to a maximum of 10 days unpaid domestic and family violence leave per year. A short term casual employee is entitled to a maximum of two days unpaid domestic and family violence leave per year.

If an employee has used their entitlement to paid or unpaid leave, they may be granted additional unpaid leave.

Are there any restrictions on the amount of leave that may be accrued or used?

There is no qualifying period of employment that must be worked before an employee is eligible for domestic and family violence leave.

If an employee does not use domestic and family violence leave one year it is not carried over to the next year. The leave may be used at any time throughout the year including as consecutive days, separate days or parts of days.

What must an employee do to access domestic and family violence leave?

An employee must notify the employer that leave is required. If possible, the notification should occur before leave is taken, where this is not possible, the employee should notify their employer as soon as possible.

Is an employee required to provide proof of the domestic and family violence when applying for leave?

If an employee applies for domestic and family violence leave, an employer may ask the employee to provide proof to support the employee’s application.

The Act recognises that it may be difficult to find proof of domestic and family violence and lists a range of the types of evidence an employee could give to an employer, including written advice or a statutory declaration.

Sensitive and confidential treatment of domestic and family violence leave applications

Employers must treat every application for domestic and family violence leave with sensitivity. Information included in an employee’s application will be kept confidential unless an employer is required to take further action, such as where the violence threatens the health and safety of others in the workplace.

Further information

For specific information contact your employer’s Human Resources or Industrial Relations area or your Union.

*a long term casual employee is a casual employee engaged by a particular employer, on a regular and systematic basis, for 1 or more periods of employment during the 1 year immediately before the employee seeks to access this entitlement.

Queensland Industrial Relations Framework

A comprehensive review of Queensland's industrial relations laws resulted in the government adopting all 68 of the review’s recommendations which will promote a fair and balanced industrial relations framework. A significant majority of the recommendations will be given effect though the Industrial Relations Act 2016 (the Act). The Act received assent on 9 December 2016 following its successful passage through the Queensland Parliament on 30 November 2016. Most provisions of the Act commenced on 1 March 2017.

The Act provides a framework for the conduct of industrial relations within the State’s industrial relations jurisdiction that is fair and balanced and supports the delivery of high-quality services, economic prosperity and social justice for Queenslanders. The defining features of the State industrial relations system are:

  1. a set of minimum employment conditions and standards
  2. collective bargaining as a cornerstone for setting wages and conditions including good faith bargaining and other consultation
  3. requirements to promote consultation between employers and employees
  4. a set of individual rights to fair treatment
  5. effective, transparent and accountable governance and reporting obligations for all registered industrial organisations and employer associations
  6. the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) as a strong and effective independent umpire.

The Act covers employers and employees to whom the federal Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) does not apply. Generally this means employers and employees of the Queensland government and local governments are covered by the Queensland Act.

Last updated 01 August 2018