On July 28 2022, the Fair Work Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament, proposing changes to the National Employment Standards (NES) to see paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave (FDVL) as a basic minimum entitlement for all employees. These changes come in an effort to provide more appropriate services, with increased capacity to meet ongoing repercussions, victim needs and required assistance. As senate inquiries are still being conducted, these changes will not come into effect (and therefore not be relevant to employees) until the 1st of February 2023.
This will see a substantial change to the previous FDVL entitlements for full time, part time and casual employees, with all entitled to 10 days of paid leave each year, opposed to the previously entitled 5 days of unpaid leave. This entitlement will not accrue annually, therefore 10 days will not become 20, however this figure will reset annually.
In anticipation of the coming changes, employers should try to support employees by creating an approachable and informative work culture and environment. YOU can do this by:
- Encouraging open communication without fear of repercussions;
- Making efforts to inform employees of leave entitlements;
- Increasing signage that promotes free support services;
- Reviewing workplace policies and inductions for the inclusion of employee awareness of rights surrounding personal issues and work; and
- Considering FDVL victim eligibility for flexible working arrangements. (FDVL victims are eligible to request flexible arrangements. Upon such a request, an employer is obligated to respond within 21 days. It is in the employer’s and employees’ best interest to accommodate these requests where possible).
Maintaining a positive workplace culture that promotes an environment of respect, value and equality is vital in supporting employees. Through the suggested changes you can help to retain great employees, supporting them with flexibility, communication and access. If you have any concerns surrounding employee wellbeing or wish to implement support plans and systems, do not hesitate in contacting our HR specialists on 1800 577 515 for a free consult.