Family violence sample clause

Family violence may impact on an employee’s attendance or performance at work. Family violence means domestic violence as defined by s2 of the Domestic Violence Act 1995.

The (employer) will support staff experiencing family violence. This support includes:

  • For those experiencing family violence, up to 10 days of paid leave in any calendar year to be used for medical appointments, legal proceedings and other activities related to family violence. This leave is in addition to existing leave entitlements and may be taken as consecutive or single days or as a fraction of a day and can be taken without prior approval.
  • To support safety planning and avoidance of harassing contact, the (employer) will approve any reasonable request from an employee experiencing family violence for:
    • changes to their span or pattern of working hours, location of work or duties;
    • a change to their work telephone number or email address; and
    • any other appropriate measure including those available under existing provisions for flexible work arrangements

An employee who supports a person experiencing family violence may take domestic leave to accompany them to court, to hospital, or to mind children.

All personal information concerning family violence will be kept confidential and will not be kept on the employee’s personnel file without their agreement.

Proof of family violence may be requested and can be in the agreed form of a document from the Police, a health professional or a family violence support service. 

If an employer will not consider a specific clause, you could consider the following:

If an employee is experiencing family violence, the employer will consider any request for additional paid leave or other support from that employee and approval will not be unreasonably refused.

A survey of the PSA’s members showed more than half of respondents had experience of family violence, either in their own lives or through someone they knew.  Of those who’d personally experienced it, more than half said they needed to take time off work.

As collective employment agreements expire, the PSA’s consistently asking employers to put in place workplace supports for those subject to family violence.

The PSA has drafted a sample clause for inclusion in collective agreements.

Delegates may be approached by PSA members for help. You can refer them to the family violence section of our website, the Organising Centre or the It’s Not OK website

Consult Health and Safety officers and make sure they’re aware of where to access resources, especially about personal safety plans. The Shine website has useful information:

Use the union noticeboard to put up posters for It’s Not OK and other support services – and leave a supply of pamphlets in staff kitchens or tearooms. You can access free resources from the family violence section of our website and from It's Not OK.

Assess how well your workplace handles family violence concerns and encourage employers to do better.  This might include:

  • Training for health and safety officers in how to recognise warning signs.  They should read and discuss the steps on the It’s Not OK website
  • Inviting speakers to talk about family violence, positive parenting, healthy relationships
  • Including information about family violence in work newsletters
  • Ensuring the workplace privacy policy will protect victims adequately
  • Making sure that the Employee Assistance Programme expressly includes family violence and practitioners who are skilled in dealing with it