Domestic and family violence support

Queensland Government employees affected by domestic and family violence are provided workplace support through the Support for employees affected by DFV directive (employees employed under the Public Sector Act 2022) and Section 7 of the Industrial Relations Act 2016 (all employees).

Use the support available if you’re affected by domestic and family violence, or to help others in your workplace affected by domestic and family violence.

Counselling and support services

Access free and confidential counselling services through your agency’s employee assistance program. See your intranet or speak to you supervisor or HR team if you’re not sure how to access this service.

For additional counselling and support services, use the Queensland Government’s Find local support search tool.

Flexible work arrangements

Request a flexible work arrangement to help with your safety and to attend appointments during the day. Arrangements may include part-time employment, flexible start and finish times, telecommuting or purchased leave. See Flexible work for more.

Domestic and family violence leave

Access Domestic and family violence leave. You’re entitled to a minimum of 10 days paid leave per year. You can take this leave as consecutive days, a single day or part of a day to attend medical, legal and counselling appointments, and arrange alternative accommodation and childcare assistance. See the Support for employees affected by domestic and family violence directive for more.

Your agency can grant additional leave (e.g. discretionary paid or unpaid special leave) in addition to the minimum 10 days paid leave provided under this directive.

Agencies can also provide casual employees with paid leave under this directive on a discretionary, pro rata basis, taking into consideration length of service. See Section 9.8 of the Paid parental leave directive for help calculating casual DFV leave entitlements and speak to your supervisor or HR team for help.

Read the Support guide for DFV in the workplace (DOCX, 336 KB) to understand why DFV is a workplace issue and what you can do to support affected colleagues.

Complete the Recognise, Respond, Refer program to learn how to recognise the signs of DFV, respond to DFV in the workplace, and refer an affected colleague for support and counselling services. Access the program through your agency’s intranet or learning management system.

Employee discloses they’re affected by DFV

Listen and reassure the employee that whatever they tell you is confidential. Provide them details of the support available as a government employee, including free counselling, flexible work options and leave entitlements. Use our DFV conversation guide (DOCX, 342.9 KB) for help.

Complete a DFV safety plan (DOCX, 401.3 KB) . Use the Guide for DFV risk and workplace safety planning (DOCX, 455.4 KB) for help. Implement a 'safe word' for them to use to signal that they need help. Remind them that in an emergency they should call the police on (triple zero) 000.

Encourage the employee to download 1 or more safety apps onto their phone for quick access to DFV-related information and services. Ask them if they need a work mobile phone or device to ensure better access to support.

Consider alternative work arrangements (e.g. different work location).

Check in with them regularly.

Employees working remotely

You may find it difficult to recognise the signs of DFV when employees work remotely, so keep the lines of communication open. Check in regularly and use video conferencing. Provide opportunity for employees to disclose if they do not feel safe working remotely (noting they may not be ready to disclose) and advise if alternative arrangements are available.

Record DFV leave

Ensure your agency’s HR team or payroll provider uses existing codes for paid discretionary leave for DFV-related leave requests. Protect your employee’s confidentiality for such leave requests and ensure their information is not identified through payroll. See the Support for employees affected by DFV directive for more.

Employees who use or may use violence and abuse

Read our Workplace approach to employees who use or may use violence and abuse guide (PDF, 2.4 MB) . Understand what you need to consider, your obligations, and how to respond.

See our Workplace response to prevent DFV and support affected employees guide (DOCX, 482.8 KB) for help creating a DFV aware and supportive workplace. It outlines 3 strategies and 6 action areas that you can focus your efforts on.

Use our model policy template to state how your workplace supports affected employees, provides access to support services and addresses safety in the workplace.

Adopt our leadership pledge statement (DOCX, 217 KB) and ask your leadership team to sign it. Make it visible that your workplace is committed to cultural change.

Use our communication toolkit to raise awareness of DFV prevention and support options available in your workplace:

Promote the Recognise, Respond, Refer program in your workplace to increase your employees’ understanding of DFV and how to support affected colleagues. Make the program available through your intranet or learning management system.

Visit the Not now, not ever. Together website to find out what else you can do to support affected employees in your workplace.

Consider workplace partnerships

Participate in the White Ribbon Australia workplace accreditation program to become a White Ribbon Workplace. The program provides an internal audit of your policies, procedures and workplace culture in relation to women’s safety and gender equality issues. It highlights what you’re doing well and areas for improvements.

Partner with Challenge DV to develop your workplace policy and educate your managers and employees to recognise the signs of DFV and respond appropriately.

Consider Griffith University’s Mate bystander program which is an education and intervention program teaching everyone to be leaders in the prevention of violence and problematic behaviour.

Implement an employee assistance program (EAP) to provide your employees with free and confidential counselling service to support their wellbeing. See the Queensland Government’s EAPs as an example.

The Queensland Government is committed to ending domestic and family violence in Queensland. See our Domestic and family violence prevention strategy 2016–2026.

Use our capability approach (PDF, 942.8 KB) to support long-term cultural change in your workplace. It outlines our multi-dimensional approach which supports employee and organisational capability in the workplace, which in turn supports improved outcomes in the community.

Consider our social procurement practices to understand how we have incorporated DFV into our purchasing processes, including supplier evaluation and selection.