May is Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month in Queensland.

It is hoped that events throughout the month will raise community awareness of domestic and family violence and also send a clear message that violence in families and homes will not be tolerated.

The theme for Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month in 2022 is “All of us, together”.

Victims of domestic violence require support from their community and so this month is a timely reminder that workers also have a number of workplace rights in relation to dealing with the effects of domestic and family violence.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has very helpfully summarised the most important matters to note.

The National Employment Standards provide that all employees (including part-time and casual employees) are entitled to 5 days unpaid family and domestic violence leave each year.

Employees are entitled to the full 5 days from the day they start work.

The 5 days renews each 12 months, however it does not roll over from year to year if it is not used.

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

The unpaid family and domestic violence leave may be used for:

  • making arrangements for the employee’s safety, or safety of a close relative (including relocation)
  • attending court hearings, or
  • accessing police services.

The leave does not need to be taken at once and can be taken as single or multiple days.

If an employee takes unpaid family and domestic violence leave, that employee must let their employer know as soon as possible.

Employees must also advise their employer about how long they expect the leave to last.

An employer can ask their employee for reasonable evidence (for example, a statutory declaration, or police and court documents) which confirms that the employee took the leave to deal with family and domestic violence.

The employer may not permit the family and domestic violence leave, if the employee does not provide the requested and reasonable evidence.

Employers must take reasonable steps to preserve the confidentiality of any information about an employee’s situation when the employer receives that information as part of an application for unpaid family and domestic violence leave.

Further information can be found here: