Unpaid family and domestic violence leave

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Employee / workerEmployer

Getting help

In an emergency, or if you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call the police now on 000.

If it is not an emergency, and you wish to report an incident of family and domestic violence, call the police on 131 444.

If you need support

You can call the following numbers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

This information is only relevant to employers and employees in the WA state industrial relations system – sole traders, unincorporated partnerships, unincorporated trusts and some incorporated or not for profit organisations. Find out more on the Guide to who is in the WA state system page.

If you operate or are employed by a Pty Ltd business – you can find information on this topic on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

This is general information on unpaid family and domestic violence leave based on the minimum entitlements in the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act 1993 (MCE Act). The entitlement to unpaid family and domestic leave under the MCE Act commenced on 20 June 2022.  

All employees, including casual employees, have a minimum entitlement to five days’ unpaid family and domestic violence leave.

An employee is able to take unpaid family and domestic violence leave if:

  • the employee is experiencing family and domestic violence; and
  • the employee needs to do something to deal with the impact of the family and domestic violence; and
  • it is impractical for the employee to do that thing outside the employee’s ordinary hours of work.

Family and domestic violence means family violence as defined in the Restraining Orders Act 1997.

Entitlement to unpaid family and domestic violence leave

Full time, part time and casual employees are entitled to five days’ unpaid family and domestic violence leave in each 12 month period. 

The five days’ leave is available in full to part time and casual employees i.e. it is not pro rata. 

Nothing prevents the employee and the employer agreeing that the employee may take more than five days of unpaid leave to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence.

Unpaid family and domestic violence leave is available in full at the start of each 12 month period of the employee’s employment; and does not accumulate from year to year.

Taking unpaid family and domestic violence leave

An employee is able to take unpaid family and domestic violence leave as:

  • a single continuous five day period;
  • separate periods of one or more days each; or
  • any separate periods to which the employee and the employer agree, including periods of less than one day.

If required by the employer, an employee who claims to be entitled to unpaid family and domestic violence leave under the MCE Act needs to provide evidence that would satisfy a reasonable person of the entitlement. This could be a document issued by:

  • a police service;
  • a court or family violence support service;
  • a medical practitioner;
  • a legal service;
  • a counsellor;
  • a refuge service; or
  • a financial institution.

It could also be a statutory declaration.

Confidentiality

Employers need to take steps to ensure information concerning any notice or evidence an employee has given of the employee taking unpaid family and domestic violence leave is treated confidentially, as far as it is reasonably practicable to do so.

Nothing prevents an employer from disclosing information provided by an employee if the disclosure is required by a written law or is necessary to protect the life, health or safety of the employee or another person.

 

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