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Paid family and domestic violence leave now available for smaller employers

Paid family and domestic violence leave now available for smaller employers A new type of leave for victims of family and domestic violence in Australia was introduced on 1 February 2023 for larger employers, allowing employees 10 paid leave days in a 12-month period. It is now being rolled out to smaller employers, who can offer this same leave entitlement to their staff from 1 August 2023. The new leave type will replace the current 5 days of unpaid domestic violence leave available to Australian employees.

These new leave days are invaluable for employees who need to take the time for their personal safety and the safety of their family, attending court hearings, and accessing services such as counsellors, the police, and legal, financial, or healthcare professionals.

There are specific requirements for information displayed on employee payslips to reduce the safety risks to employees who may be in compromised positions. Payslips must look as close as possible to how they would usually look. For example, part of the employee’s gross ordinary hours of work, an additional payment such as an allowance, bonus, or overtime payment, or when requested by the employee, as an amount for any other type of leave entitlement other than Family and Domestic Violence Leave (FDVL).

Employers will need to keep secure records of the new leave balances and any leave that has been taken by employees, however, payslips cannot mention family and domestic violence leave taken or any balances remaining.

It was previously advised by the ATO that Family and domestic violence leave was to be reported through STP2 as 'Leave - Other', however this advice has changed. To maintain employee’s confidentiality, STP2 reporting of FDVL is to match exactly what is displayed on the payslip, whether this be ordinary hours, leave, or another payment type.

The new leave type will be reviewed in 12 months’ time to consider how this impacts sole traders, small businesses, and those experiencing the effects of family and domestic violence. Sybiz have provided instructions on how employers can manage this leave type in Sybiz Visipay.

Support services, including counselling and information for employers and employees, can be accessed via the 1800 RESPECT website and further information about the family and domestic violence leave entitlements can be obtained from FairWork Australia.

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