Going through family and domestic violence and needing some time off work? Read on to find out how unpaid leave may help you…
Living with domestic violence is challenging and often dangerous, to say the least. Throw in the added risks if you're trying to leave the relationship and you have the makings of a seriously stressful life event. But what if you work… how do you find time for appointments with lawyers or Police? What if you have to attend court? What if you are assaulted and need some time to recover? Thankfully all Australian’s are now entitled to 5 days unpaid Family and Domestic Violence Leave each year.
How do I qualify?
All workers Australia wide are eligible for the leave, regardless of whether they are employed on a full time, part time or casual basis. The law was introduced in December 2018 and entitlements are available across all industries and all occupation awards.
Unlike some other forms of leave, domestic and family violence leave entitlements are available upon commencement of employment. They not need to be accrued.
Does the leave only apply for people dealing with violence in an intimate relationship?
No. To be eligible for this leave entitlement the person you are dealing with may be someone other than your partner. In fact, by definition, it may include any ‘close relative’ which extends to include spouse, former spouse, de facto partner or former de facto partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling.
Also included are an employee's current or former spouse or de facto partner's child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling, or a person related to the employee according to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander kinship rules.
When can this leave be taken?
Time can be taken if an employee needs to attend to something to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence. This may include making arrangements to ensure personal safety, moving house, attending court or accessing Police services.
Who should I ask if I am interested in applying for this leave?
If appropriate, start with your boss or a HR representative. If you need more advice you may like to speak with the Fair Work Ombudsman 8:00am-5:30pm Monday to Friday on 13 13 94.
Where can I get more information on this leave?
If you’d like further information in regards to this leave please visit The Fair Work Ombudsman website.
If you are experiencing family and domestic violence, I hope this article helps.
If you need additional support you can always reach out to me. I am a survivor so I have a unique perspective on how to manage your exit strategy.
You can read more about how I might be able to support you and also check out all the family and domestic violence articles I write for The Southern Highlands News here. I support women Australia wide.
In the meantime you may like to check out these articles;
Until next week…
Yours in better mental health,
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Erica has a passion for Women’s Health. She works with women who want to be heard, supported and empowered! Erica is a survivor of many life experiences. A Mum. A travel lover. A green thumb in training and an eternal optimist!