Release type: Joint Media Release


Universal paid leave for family and domestic violence


The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for the Arts
The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP
Minister for Social Services

More than 11 million Australian workers will soon have access to 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave.

The Albanese Labor Government has delivered on its election promise to legislate this landmark change that will save lives.

Our Government is committed to providing the leadership and the investment to help end family, domestic and sexual violence.

Paid family and domestic violence leave is an important part of that commitment.

It is a long overdue change that will give workers – overwhelmingly women – the means to escape violent situations without risking their financial security.

No woman should ever have to choose between her safety and her livelihood.

The new workplace entitlement will commence on 1 February 2023 for most employees.

Small businesses will have an extra six months to adjust to the change, meaning the start date for those employees will be August 1 next year.

Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke said the leave will apply to all employees in Australia, including casuals.

“Family and domestic violence leave has to be a universal entitlement,” Minister Burke said.

“Women can be victims of domestic violence no matter what job they work, how long they’ve been in that job, what sort of agreement they’re on or how many hours a week they work.

“In fact, women who are experiencing family and domestic violence are more likely to be employed in casual and insecure work. We can’t leave them behind.

“Violence doesn’t discriminate – and neither should the law.”

Minister Rishworth said the Albanese Labor Government was committed to ending violence against women and children.

“One women dies every 10 days at the hands of their current or former partner. That is unacceptable.

“We know First Nations women experience rates of domestic and family violence at higher rates than their non-Indigenous counterparts. This must end.

“Last week, along with my state and territory counterparts, I released the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032. We set an ambitious goal to end gender-based violence within a generation.

“This bill is one step towards achieving that goal. No person experiencing violence should have to choose between their job or their safety.”

The Government thanks the union movement for fighting hard for this change over many years.

In this week’s Budget the Albanese Labor Government committed to $1.7 billion in investments aimed at addressing violence against women and children.

These include new investments for an additional 500 community frontline workers, consent and respectful relationships education in schools, safe and affordable housing for women fleeing violence, and a new Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commission.

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