Over the past 12 months, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has been conducting the Family and Domestic Violence Review 2021 (the Review). The Review is considering whether award-covered employees should have paid family and domestic violence leave entitlements and, if so, how many days per annum. Ai Group has been playing a leading role in representing employers in the Review.
In a lengthy 266-page Decision, a Full Bench of the FWC has expressed a provisional view that awards should be varied to implement an entitlement up of to 10 days per annum of paid family and domestic violence leave for full-time employees. Part-time employees would receive a pro rata entitlement.
The entitlement would accrue progressively but would be capped at 10 days at any given time. The family and domestic violence leave would be payable at an employee’s base rate of pay, as defined in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act).
The FWC has made a finding that the cost impact on employers is unlikely to be substantial due to the likely low employee rate of access to the entitlement.
The FWC has directed parties to prepare a draft model paid family and domestic violence leave clause to reflect the FWC’s provisional views. This will not prejudice a party’s ability to make further submissions in opposition to the FWC’s provisional views.
The FWC has invited the Australian Government to express its intention on whether or not it will introduce amendments to the National Employment Standards in the FW Act to reflect the entitlements provisionally determined in the FWC’s Decision.
The Albanese Government has confirmed that it will legislate “as soon as possible” to incorporate 10 days’ paid family and domestic violence leave into the National Employment Standards.