Employees affected by domestic violence can now access 10 days of paid family leave after the government amended the 2009 Fair Work Act.

The former entitlement of 5 days of paid leave has been doubled, with all employees of non-small businesses (15 or more workers) able to access the payments, including part-time and casual staff.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese described the change as “overdue”, and says the bill will save lives.

“Let us hope that in putting in place this measure, it is used less and less in the future as we go on,” the Prime Minister said earlier this week.

Small business employers with less than 15 workers will join the scheme from 1 August 2023 to allow owners to prepare. They will also have access to a four-year $3.4 million financial support program to ensure a smooth adjustment.

Impacted workers will receive their full rate of pay plus any incentive-based payments and bonuses, loadings, monetary allowances, overtime or penalty rates.

The legislation also prevents the leave from being mentioned on a pay slip.

“Employers have an increasingly important role here,” said Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth.

“The connection with work, the payment of wages, is really important in keeping stability in the lives of those experiencing violence when they are attempting to leave a domestic violence situation.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman has published a number of resources to help businesses introduce the leave including examples of how the leave works in practice; a guide to family and domestic violence; online learning courses and referral information for those who need support services.

If you or someone you know needs assistance, call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).

If you are in immediate danger call triple zero (000).