Paid domestic violence leave now available for small business employees

Paid domestic violence leave now available for small business employees

Amanda Rishworth

Employees working in small businesses are now eligible for ten days of paid family and domestic violence leave, under legislation that comes into effect from Tuesday. 

The entitlement to paid family and domestic violence leave for small business employees comes six months after employees who work for medium and large businesses were granted the right. 

The Albanese government had given small businesses an additional six months to prepare for the new leave entitlement, in recognition of the limited resources of most small businesses. 

“Violence against women and children is not acceptable, and for some, it has been inescapable,” Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said.

“No one should have to choose between their work or their safety, and this is why we want to take strong action to protect anyone experiencing violence from disadvantage or discrimination in the workplace.”

Rishworth said the government understood that “small businesses do not have the same resources as larger organisations” and they would provide a small business assistance package with practical support to help businesses understand their obligations and administer the leave entitlement sensitively and lawfully.

“This is a workplace entitlement that will make a real difference to the working Australians who experience family and domestic violence each year,” Rishworth said.

The government has also just released a new podcast in partnership with Lifeline Australia titled Small business, big impact: how to support employees experiencing family and domestic violence. The podcast is hosted by Gretel Killeen.

Assistant Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Justine Elliot said the podcast would help prepare small business owners for conversations about paid family and domestic violence leave, and how they can support employees.

“The podcast, designed for small businesses, has been guided by experts from the family and domestic violence sector, alongside representatives from small business and their peak bodies,” Elliot said.

Economic security is a key factor in determining whether a person can escape a dangerous relationship. On average, it costs $18,000 to escape a violent relationship in Australia.

If you or someone you know is impacted by family and domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit

In an emergency, call 000. 


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