Employers have a range of obligations to uphold in relation to staff leave and entitlements. For example, employers must ensure they are:
keeping up to date on the latest employment regulations,
paying employees their correct entitlements, and
communicating effectively with employees to inform them of their options and any changes to their entitlements.
Here are some recent updates to employee leave entitlements that employers must be prepared to implement:
Paid Family & Domestic Violence Leave
On 27 October 2022, The Fair Work Amendment (Paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2022 passed both houses in parliament. This updates the National Employment Standards (NES).
Effective 1 February 2023, employees affected by family and domestic violence will be entitled to 10 days of paid Family & Domestic Violence (FDV) Leave per year, up from the current 5 days of unpaid leave per year. Small businesses will have until 1 August 2023 for the changes to take effect.
FDV Leave is available to employees who have experienced violent, threatening, controlling, or abusive behaviour by a close relative, a member of an employee’s household, or a current or former intimate partner of an employee. The entitlement allows the affected employee to take time off from work to do things necessary to alleviate their situation, such as seeking support, finding safe accommodation, or attending court hearings, without putting their employment at risk.
The new entitlement will apply to all employees, including casual employees and employees under enterprise agreements which already have paid FDV Leave entitlements. Employees will have access to paid FDV Leave from the day they commence employment, and the entitlement will refresh every year.
Employers should update their leave policies and monitoring systems before 1 February 2023 to reflect the new changes.
It is important for employers to understand their role in supporting employees experiencing FDV, including practical workplace supports and safety plans. WorkPlacePLUS provides contact officer training to help employers ensure their staff can confidentially access appropriate information, options and resources. Learn more >
Personal Leave in Western Australia
Changes to the personal leave entitlement have been introduced for all employees in the state industrial relations system of Western Australia. Sick leave and carer’s leave have been combined, and both forms of leave are now termed ‘personal leave’.
The new personal leave provisions in the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act 1993 (MCE Act) were introduced by the Industrial Relations Legislation Amendment Act 2021 and commenced on 20 June 2022. For more information, refer to Changes to employment laws in Western Australia.
WorkPlacePLUS provides outsourced support and assistance with complex HR matters, such as the correct interpretation and implementation of employment regulations. For more information, please contact us today.