From the first full pay period on or after 1 August 2018, most employees can take unpaid leave to deal with family and domestic violence, following a Fair Work Commission decision 

The Fair Work Commission will soon be updating all industry and occupation awards to include a new clause allowing employees to take unpaid leave to deal with family and domestic violence. This new clause will apply from the first full pay period on or after 1 August 2018.

Who does it apply to?

The new entitlement applies to all employees covered by an industry or occupation award.

It doesn't apply to employees who are:

  • covered by Enterprise awards
  • covered by State reference public sector awards
  • covered by enterprise and other registered agreements
  • award and agreement free.

What's the new entitlement?

Employees covered by an award with the new clause are entitled to 5 days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave each year. Family and domestic violence means violent, threatening or other abusive behaviour by an employee's family member that:

  • seeks to coerce or control the employee
  • causes them harm or fear.

Employees can take the leave if they need to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence and it's impractical to do so outside their ordinary hours of work.

Where can I find more information?

FIAA Members can contact our Workplace advice team at or phone 1300 342 248 for further information.

Fairwork Commission Decision

You can read the 18 July 2018 Fair Work Commission decision and the final determinations on the Fair Work Commission's family and domestic violence clause website page.

Confidential information, counselling and support for people impacted by domestic and family violence is available at


Source: Fairwork Ombudsman, Page reference No: 8578