Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2022
The Law Council welcomes the opportunity to provide a submission to the Education and Employment Legislation Committee’s Inquiry into the Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2022 (the Bill).
The Bill seeks to amend the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the FW Act) to provide for ten days of paid family and domestic violence (FDV) leave in the National Employment Standards (NES). This would replace the existing entitlement in the NES of five days unpaid family and domestic violence leave, and would:
- provide for employees to access paid FDV leave at their full rate of pay for the hours they would have worked had they not taken the leave;
- extend the definition of FDV to include conduct of a current or former intimate partner of an employee, or a member of an employee’s household; and
- extend the full paid entitlement to all employees when the International Labour Organisation Convention (No. 190)2 concerning Violence and Harassment comes into force for Australia.
The Bill has been introduced following a provisional decision of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) earlier this year, which found that modern employment awards should provide for 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave for full-time and part-time employees.3 However, the Bill extends this leave entitlement to full-time, parttime and casual employees, despite the FWC having earlier determined that it should not apply to the latter. This variation from the FWC decision is discussed in more detail below.