Domestic Violence Leave


After much debate, Fair Work Commission Vice President Watson has recently revealed his decision that domestic violence leave should not be included in modern awards.

He decided the leave should not be included because:

  • It is a form of leave that can be taken without prior approval.
  • It is available in a broad and somewhat uncertain range of circumstances.
  • There is a possibility that it could undermine the level of trust in a workplace and create uncertainty and cost for employers.

While VP Watson acknowledged domestic violence is a serious problem that needs to be considered in the workplace, the introduction of leave specifically for domestic violence could bring about more problems than solutions.

What can you do to help employees suffering from domestic violence?

Domestic violence can be very detrimental to the workplace. Some abusers may use the time their victim is at work to send threatening texts or calls, in an environment when the victim is unable to fully respond. The stress induced by the abuse may also cause an employee’s performance to suffer, resulting in less productivity and more mistakes made in the workplace.

It is vital to ensure the health and safety of your employees when they are at work. Effectively addressing the effects of domestic violence can reduce costs such as sudden sick leave or absences from work, increase employee health and wellbeing, demonstrate corporate social responsibility, and fulfil an employer’s duty of care. Ensure that your employees have access to the appropriate resources and support systems to get help when they are ready. Have a policy in place that states who to approach should an employee be experiencing any problems outside of the workplace that could impact their work. Remember to be supportive and work with your employee to achieve the best results for the individual and the organisation.


For more information on domestic violence leave contact us on (08) 9316 9896 or


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Marisa Ross

HR Advisor

Marisa is an experienced and motivated HR professional with a strong HR generalist and business operations background with a focus on employee relations, performance management, leadership training & development, workers compensation & injury management, and employee retention. Marisa holds a Bachelor of Human Resource Management and a Bachelor of Behavioural Science with a minor in Counselling. Having worked in a variety of industries from SMEs to large blue-chip organisations, Marisa is passionate about enriching employee experience, employee retention, and building leadership capability in people management.

Aimee Grigson

Aimee Grigson

WHS Advisor

Aimee has a strong understanding of Workplace Health and Safety Legislation and standards and has extensive HSEQ experience in a number of industries. Aimee has a great ability to engage across all levels of organisation, including field teams, leadership and external stakeholders. Aimee ensures Health and Safety Management Systems are compliant to legislation, effectively implemented and understood by all. Aimee has a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety and qualifications in auditing and incident investigations. Aimee is passionate about coaching and developing small businesses towards a positive safety culture.