The Queensland Government is committed to supporting employees affected by domestic and family violence (DFV). It is important we provide a safe work environment where DFV-related matters are handled sensitively, and employees feel confident to disclose circumstances that may impact them in the workplace. Our priority is to maintain their safety and ongoing employment.
Directive 03/20 – Support for employees affected by domestic and family violence (DFV) applies to all Queensland Government public service employees, including casual employees. If the directive does not apply to you—if you are not a Queensland Government public service employee—you can refer to the entitlements provided for state and local government employees under the Industrial Relations Act 2016.
Under the DFV directive, affected employees can access a minimum of 10 days paid leave per year. The term ‘minimum’ does not require an employee to take a full 10 days leave—it can be taken as consecutive days, a single day or part of a day.
An agency can grant additional leave (e.g. discretionary paid or unpaid special leave) in addition to the minimum 10 days paid leave provided under the DFV directive.
Agencies should use existing codes for paid discretionary leave for DFV-related applications. There is no need to create a separate payroll code or for notes to be inserted. This is to ensure confidentiality around applications and reassure employees that they can request DFV leave and be confident that applications will not be identified through payroll.
For casual employees, the DFV directive provides a paid leave entitlement that will need to be flexibly interpreted. In considering how to apply the entitlement to casual employees, agencies should consider requests on a case-by-case basis.
It is not possible to have fixed policies and systems that cover every leave circumstance that arises. Agencies will need to be flexible when dealing with requests from casual employees.
There are several options for determining the entitlement for casual employees:
- basing a calculation of the leave entitlement on rostered shifts
- for employees with a longer work history, the method of calculating leave entitlements under the paid parental leave directive may be instructive (see Section 3.6 of the Paid Parental Leave directive). The formula set out in that directive could be modified, as required. (e.g. if an employee had less than 12 months service)
- for employees with an intermittent or infrequent work pattern, the entitlement would need to be determined by the chief executive (or delegate) taking into account circumstances of the case.
Payroll providers are aware of the need to ensure maximum privacy for casual employees seeking to access this leave. In practice, the options described above may require an employee to provide their manager with an indication of the circumstances around the leave request and the request to be processed manually. Information disclosed in these circumstances must be kept confidential, except to the extent that disclosure is required or permitted by law.
There is no requirement for an employee to exhaust other leave before accessing leave under the DFV directive. An employee may also access further paid or unpaid leave, including:
- special leave
- sick leave
- carers leave
- recreation leave
- long service leave
- other accrued time.
Other leave accessed by an employee affected by DFV should be in accordance with leave entitlements under the relevant directive. The DFV directive does not create an entitlement to leave under those directives that would otherwise not exist.
For example, casual employees are not entitled to leave under the special leave directive. Therefore, a casual employee would be entitled to access the 10 days paid special leave provided under the DFV directive and other leave would only be available if the relevant directive provided a leave entitlement for casual employees.
The Industrial Relations Act 2016 provides minimum entitlements for state and local government employees in Queensland, and takes effect from 1 March 2017.
- permanent and temporary employees with a new leave entitlement of 10 days paid DFV leave per year
- casual employees with an entitlement to unpaid DFV leave
- carers leave for any person affected by DFV
- a right to flexible work arrangements and a right to appeal if such a request is denied
- general protections against adverse action, including for those who are victims of DFV.
The DFV directive provides Queensland Government public service employees with more favourable entitlements than the legislative minimum safety net position. For example, casual employees are entitled to paid leave under the DFV directive, but under the Act, they are entitled to unpaid leave.