The National Employment Standards (NES) now provide for new family and domestic violence leave provisions.
- Paid family and domestic violence leave is now available to casual employees.
- The NES provisions allow for up to ten days paid miscellaneous leave per year for casual employees. This leave is not accruable.
- The Fair Work Act 2009 definition of ‘family and domestic violence’ has been amended. This definition has now been expanded to include violent, threatening or other abusive behaviour by a ‘close relative, a member of the employee’s household or a current or former intimate partner of an employee’ that seeks to coerce or control the employee and that causes them harm or to be fearful. This now also includes the actions of ‘current or former intimate partner’s close relatives.’
- The new provisions emphasise the need for confidentiality.
What hasn't changed?
- For ongoing and non-ongoing employees, the Commonwealth Members of Parliament Staff Enterprise Agreement 2020-23 (Enterprise Agreement) already allows leave to be taken for reasons of family and domestic violence and this is available as required.
- MaPS will continue to ensure employee privacy is maintained. MaPS will ensure employee payslips include no indication that leave was taken for reasons of family or domestic violence.
How can I access leave for family and domestic violence?
- If an employee requests miscellaneous leave for domestic or family violence purposes parliamentarians and office managers must ensure they are able to access this leave.
- Ongoing and non-ongoing employees can access this leave through PEMS using "miscellaneous leave - other" with approval by their parliamentarian or authorised officer.
- For casual employees, leave in accordance with the NES provisions can be processed at their employee’s request, or on their behalf by their parliamentarian or authorised office, by advising the MaPS Helpdesk.
If an employee does not feel comfortable discussing these arrangements with Finance, their parliamentarian or authorised officer they can contact the Parliamentary Workplace Support Service (PWSS) for assistance on 1800 747 977.
If you or someone you know is experiencing family and domestic violence, or you simply want to find out more, the following external services are available to provide information and assistance:
- 1800Respect – National sexual assault, domestic family violence counselling service: 1800 737 732
- Employee Assistance Program
- Lifeline: 13 11 14—24-hour crisis support and referral
- Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277
- Mensline: 1300 789 978
- EveryMan: 6230 6999
Leave is to be taken at the full rate of pay, as defined by the NES.
Consideration of flexible employment arrangements that may assist the employee will continue to be positively considered. Should you wish to access flexible employment arrangements, please speak with our parliamentarian or authorised officer, or contact the MaPS Helpdesk.
Changes to the Family and Domestic Violence Policy have been finalised with the Employee Consultative Group (ECG) and is now available here and on the MaPS Website.