Following its 26 March 2018 decision to include unpaid family and domestic violence leave in Modern Awards, the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has now delivered the draft order to be included in Modern Awards. The terms of the draft order are as follows and take effect from the first full pay period on or after 1 August 2018:

  • 5 days' unpaid family and domestic violence leave available to all employees, including casuals (irrespective of length of service);
  • the 5 days will be available as at the commencement of each year (rather than accruing progressively throughout a year);
  • the leave will not accumulate from year to year;
  • the leave will not be pro-rated for part-time employees or casuals;
  • permanent employees will not have to take their paid leave before accessing the unpaid family and domestic violence leave;
  • the leave does not count as service but does not break continuity of service;
  • the employer and employee may agree on more than 5 days' leave;
  • an employee must provide notice of the leave as soon as practicable (which may be after the commencement of leave);
  • an employer may seek evidence of the need for the leave; and
  • employers must keep the notice of the taking of leave and any evidence in confidence.

Employers may now wish to review their policies and provide training to managerial staff on the new provisions.