Domestic Violence Leave in Australia: What You Need to Know

Understanding Domestic Violence Leave in Australia

Domestic Violence Leave in Australia is a crucial employment entitlement designed to support individuals who experience domestic violence. It allows employees to take paid or unpaid leave to address the impacts of domestic violence, seek assistance, and ensure their safety. The leave provisions typically encompass a range of purposes, including attending court hearings, accessing medical or legal support, counselling, or making arrangements to relocate if necessary.

Understanding Domestic Violence Leave is vital for employers to create a supportive and inclusive workplace that prioritizes the well-being of employees affected by domestic violence, while also raising awareness and combating this pervasive social issue.

Who Qualifies for Domestic Violence Leave in Australia?

In Australia, domestic violence leave is available to all employees who have experienced domestic violence, regardless of their gender, relationship to the perpetrator, or type of employment. This includes full-time, part-time, and casual workers.

The eligibility criteria generally require the employee to provide evidence or documentation substantiating their need for domestic violence leave, such as a domestic violence order, court documents, or a letter from a medical professional or support service.

It’s important to note that the process of disclosing and documenting domestic violence is treated with sensitivity and confidentiality. Employers are obligated to provide support and make reasonable accommodations for employees seeking domestic violence leave, ensuring a safe and supportive environment for those affected.

What are the Domestic Leave Entitlements?

The entitlements for domestic violence leave in Australia vary depending on the state or territory, as well as the type of employment. Generally, employees have the right to a certain amount of paid or unpaid leave to address the effects of domestic violence. The duration of leave entitlements typically ranges from five to 20 days per year, allowing individuals to seek assistance, attend court hearings, secure accommodation, or make safety arrangements. Some employers may offer additional provisions, such as access to counselling services or flexible working arrangements.

It’s important for employees to consult their relevant employment laws, enterprise agreements, or workplace policies to understand the specific entitlements applicable in their situation. These entitlements aim to provide support and protection for individuals facing domestic violence while maintaining their employment and financial stability.

In Australia, domestic violence leave entitlements can vary by state or territory. Here is a list of states and territories with their respective domestic violence leave provisions:

Victoria: 20 days of paid leave per year under the Victorian Family Violence Leave Act 2018.

New South Wales: 10 days of paid domestic violence leave per year under the Fair Work Act 2009.

Queensland: 10 days of paid domestic violence leave per year under the Fair Work Act 2009.

South Australia: 15 days of paid domestic violence leave per year under the Fair Work Act 2009.

Tasmania: 10 days of paid domestic violence leave per year under the Fair Work Act 2009.

Western Australia: 10 days of paid domestic violence leave per year under the Fair Work Act 2009.

Northern Territory: 10 days of unpaid domestic violence leave per year under the Fair Work Act 2009.

Australian Capital Territory: 10 days of paid domestic violence leave per year under the Fair Work Act 2009.

It’s important to note that these provisions are subject to change, and it is advisable to consult the specific legislation and relevant employment agreements for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Domestic Leave Pay

Domestic violence leave in Australia can be provided as paid or unpaid leave, depending on the employer’s policies and agreements. Some employers may offer paid domestic violence leave, ensuring that employees facing domestic violence are not financially burdened while taking time off. However, the specifics of payment, such as the rate and duration, can vary and should be determined by employment contracts, enterprise agreements, or workplace policies. It is essential for employees to check their specific entitlements regarding pay during domestic violence leave.

Employer Responsibilities and Resources

Employers in Australia have important responsibilities when it comes to domestic violence leave. Firstly, they must be proactive in creating a supportive and safe work environment that addresses the needs of employees experiencing domestic violence. This includes implementing policies and procedures that ensure confidentiality, non-discrimination, and sensitivity when dealing with domestic violence cases. Employers should also provide information and resources to employees, such as contact details for support services, counselling, and legal assistance.

Additionally, employers have a duty to inform employees of their rights and entitlements regarding domestic violence leave, ensuring they are aware of the available support. This can be done through workplace trainings, written policies, and open communication channels.

Employers should also be flexible and accommodating when it comes to granting domestic violence leave, understanding the complex and unpredictable nature of these situations. This may involve offering additional support measures like flexible working arrangements, temporary reassignments, or assistance with safety plans.

By fulfilling these responsibilities, employers can contribute to a workplace culture that promotes safety, well-being, and support for employees facing domestic violence.

Legal Advice

Our highly experienced solicitors at our sister company, Legal Kitz can provide you with advice that is tailored to your situation, ensuring that your concerns are addressed. You can also request to book a FREE consultation or contact them at or 1300 988 954. You can also check out our Business Kitz subscription service today to begin your business with a solid foundation that ensures legal compliance. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or is in immediate danger, please seek help and support immediately. In Australia, you can contact 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or visit their website at for confidential assistance and resources. Remember, your safety and well-being are of utmost importance. Domestic violence is a serious issue, and there are resources available to help you navigate through difficult situations.

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