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Paid Family & Domestic Violence Leave – Key Facts for Employers

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Paid family and domestic violence leave is now in effect across Australia replacing the existing unpaid leave entitlement.

The leave became available from 1st February 2023 at many workplaces. Small businesses have until 1 August to adjust to the changes.

Overview of paid family and domestic violence leave

What is paid family and domestic violence leave and how does it work?

Paid family and domestic violence (FDV) leave will be available to any employee who experiences violent, threatening or other abusive behaviour by a close relative, a current or former intimate partner, or a member of their household that seeks to coerce or control them or causes them harm or fear.

A close relative is defined as a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of a current or former spouse or de facto partner, or a person related to the employee according to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander kinship rules.

Who is eligible?

Full-time, part-time and casual employees will all have the right to access 10 days of paid FDV leave in a 12-month period. The leave renews every year on each employee’s work anniversary. It doesn’t accumulate from year to year if it isn’t used.

Paid family and domestic violence leave is available for employees of non-small business employers, from 1 February 2023. Employees employed by small business employers (employers with less than 15 employees) can access this paid leave from 1 August 2023. Until then, they can continue to take unpaid family and domestic violence leave

You can read more about the new entitlement rules here.

Taking family and domestic violence leave

Any employees who need to do something to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence that is not practical to do outside of their work hours can take paid family and domestic violence leave. These tasks may include:

  • making arrangements for their safety, or the safety of a close relative (including relocation)
  • attending court hearings
  • accessing police services
  • attending counselling
  • attending appointments with medical, financial or legal professionals.

If an employee takes paid family and domestic violence leave, they have to let their employer know as soon as possible. This could be after the leave has started. 

An employer can ask their employee for evidence such as police, court, or support service documents, or a statutory declaration, even if the leave period is less than a day.


Rates of Pay, Payslips & Other Leave Types

How much is the domestic violence payment?

The payment will be whatever the employee would have earned if they had been at work. Full-time and part-time employees can take paid family and domestic violence leave at their full pay rate for the hours they would have worked as if they were working. Casual employees will be paid at their full pay rate for the hours they were rostered to work in the period they took leave. The full pay rate includes an employee’s base rate plus any incentive-based payments and bonuses, loadings, monetary allowances, overtime or penalty rates.



Employers need to keep a record of leave balances and any leave taken by employees. However, pay slips must not mention paid family and domestic violence leave, including any leave taken and leave balances. Further, employers must take reasonable steps to ensure that any evidence received in support of an employee’s FDV leave request remains confidential – given the sensitivity of the information.

Interaction with other paid leave


An employee can use paid family and domestic violence leave during a period of paid personal/carer’s or annual leave. If this happens, the employee is no longer on the other form of paid leave and is taking paid family and domestic violence leave instead. The employee needs to give their employer the required notice and evidence.

Plan for Increased Payroll Costs

As the new leave provision applies from day one of employment for all employees, employers should plan for the potential cost of the leave. 

While it’s unlikely that all employees will take this leave, preparing for the possible cost means you won’t get caught out if you do have to pay FDV leave.

The pay entitlement is different to annual and sick leave, and is a new concept for casual workers. Businesses therefore need to think about their HR system and also review their payroll processes to ensure the correct amounts are paid for FDV leave.  

Book a time with Balanced Beans bookkeeping experts if you’d like to start planning for these payroll changes or to set up FDV leave in your Xero file.

Looking for a bookkeeper in Newcastle?

Keep your SME compliant and streamline your bookkeeping process with specialist bookkeepers.  Balanced Beans is 100% cloud based so we can easily help you no matter where you are in the Hunter Valley.