South Australian Local Government and public sector employees now entitled to paid family and domestic violence leave
Amendments to the state’s Fair Work Act 1994 (SA) (the FW Act) will grant Local Government and public sector workers experiencing family and domestic violence the entitlement to paid leave to attend to legal and medical concerns. The final text of the Bill, being the Fair Work (Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Amendment Bill 2023 (SA) (the Bill) has been passed by Parliament and now awaits assent, with the substantive provisions coming into effect on a day to be fixed by proclamation.
The legislative changes guarantee the option of 15 days of paid leave per year to South Australia’s entire public sector workforce as well as local government employees impacted by domestic and family violence. This leave is available to full-time and part-time employees, and casual employees, subject to their rostered working hours. Employees are entitled to family and domestic violence leave from the beginning of each year of their employment, and such leave will not accrue into subsequent years if unused.
The amendments to the South Australian FW Act complement a similar Federal scheme that came into effect in February 2023 and apply to national system employees (excluding small business employers). The Federal scheme provides employees access of up to 10 days of paid leave. These new legislative changes will be expanded to employees of small business employers from August 2023. We have previously written about the NES entitlements and encourage readers to revisit our previous article.
This alert serves as a timely reminder to employers to ensure that policies, systems and procedures are reviewed to ensure compliance with the new minimum standards in the FW Act. Employers should be proactive in their approach by updating their leave policies and future employment agreements to reflect the enhanced benefits to relevant employees. Compliance can also be achieved by educating and training managers on the content of the new laws and dealing with applications for the leave and communicating the relevant changes to all staff.
Should you wish to discuss any material contained in this article, or if you require assistance with navigating the implications of these newly introduced legislative entitlements, please contact Sathish Dasan on +61 8 8210 1253 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Anastasia Gravas on + 61 8 8210 1331 or email@example.com or Li-shern Sim on +61 407 017 681 or firstname.lastname@example.org.