New law, to make provision for victims of domestic violence, comes into force on 1 April 2019.

As set out in our earlier article, those affected by domestic violence will be entitled to:

  • 10 days domestic violence leave per year;
  • Ask for short-term flexible working options; and
  • Not be discriminated against due to being affected by domestic violence.

Therefore, employers need to be aware of employees' entitlements under the new legislation and foster a workplace culture which encourages employees to feel comfortable raising these sensitive issues if necessary. 

We recommend that workplaces put in place policies about these issues, so employees know about the processes for this new entitlement and that employers identify a person within the organisation with whom employees can confidentially raise these issues.  There will be a number of processes that need to be set up so that the situation is not made worse for the employee, and a different approach to the norm will be needed.  For example, the naming of the leave could be an issue, particularly where there are issues of control involved and it appears on a pay slip.

Employers will need to consider how they require 'proof' and how that might impact on the situation that the employee is faced with.

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