Paid domestic violence leave moves ahead



The Albanese government has formally told the industrial umpire it will introduce 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave into the National Employment Standards as soon as possible.

Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke confirmed to the Fair Work Commission on Thursday the government would amend the standards.

The umpire had sought clarification on the path forward when it released a statement outlining its provisional model in mid-May.

Interested parties will now have until July 1 to work with the Commonwealth to draft a leave model in line with the provisional view that employees be entitled to 10 days paid domestic violence leave a year.

The leave should accrue progressively in the same way as annual leave and should accumulate from year to year, but be subject to a 10 days accrued cap, the commission said.

The entitlement should be paid at the employee’s base rate and not be available to casuals, the umpire says.

It also slated the leave entitlement should be accessible in advance of leave accruing by agreement between an employee and their employer.

Parties will be able to make submissions on the draft model, and the Commonwealth government has been provided an opportunity to clarify whether it proposes to amend the draft model until July 1.

The commission is also working to clarify the government’s timeframe on introducing the legislation.

In a letter to commission president Iain Ross, Mr Burke says the government will introduce the leave into the employment standards “as soon as possible … consistent with the commitments made in the government’s Secure Australian Jobs Plan”.

“The government is committed to providing the national leadership and investment needed to help end family, domestic and sexual violence,” Mr Burke wrote in the letter dated June 16.

“I want to thank the Fair Work Commission and the stakeholders who have engaged in the review for the work undertaken to progress this critically important issue.”

Parliament is slated to return in the final week of July.

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