Domestic and family violence (DFV) is a multifaceted issue that affects individuals in different ways depending on their personal circumstances, environment, and level of impact. Therefore, it is crucial to consider this complexity when developing workplace responses to DFV.

It is important to recognise that domestic and family violence (DFV) is a serious problem affecting people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. It is not something that only happens in specific communities or to particular individuals. Shockingly, one in four women and one in sixteen men experience domestic and family violence.

Since February 2023, there have been changes to DFV leave entitlements, including 10 days paid leave. These are available for all employees including casual and part-time positions (these rules will apply to small businesses (less than 15 staff) from August 2023).

It’s not enough for businesses to simply fulfill their regulatory and compliance obligations. It’s equally important to provide meaningful and practical support for those impacted by DFV. When creating, implementing, or reviewing DFV guidelines, it’s essential to consider various situations and develop support options that are customized to individual needs.

For instance, DFV leave can be beneficial for individuals who need to attend court or related appointments, or require time away from work to leave their DFV situation. Still, it may not be the best solution for everyone, especially if it puts them in closer proximity to the perpetrator.

A workplace can offer various support options to individuals impacted by DFV, depending on their specific needs and circumstances. These may include:

  • Flexible work arrangements to enable employees to balance their home situation and their work commitments.
  • 10 days paid leave
  • A designated go-to person at work to discuss their situation in confidence.
  • Consideration of their workload to ease unnecessary stress as they navigate through the DFV situation.
  • Safety assessment and relevant measures to ensure the person is not at risk on their way to or from or whilst at work.
  • An empathic, non-judgemental and supportive culture that makes people feel comfortable to come forward and seek support if they are impacted by DFV.
  • Communications activities to drive awareness, connection and understanding about DFV within the workplace and to guide employees to provisions and safety.
  • Training of leaders, HR teams and other relevant staff to ensure the business has the right knowledge, skills and resources to address DFV within the workplace.
  • Ongoing check-ins with employees who are impacted by DFV to ensure they remain safe and supported.
  • Financial support to enable them to leave their situation and establish a new place to live
  • A loan mobile phone to enable them to stay connected with their loved ones

The key to supporting someone who is impacted by DFV is empowering them to decide what they need during this challenging time. Listen to their needs, provide options and let them make a decision on their preferred options.

And it’s important to remember that the workplace has legislated obligations in relation to DFV – these can be found at the Fair Work website. Check out where you can find the Employer Guidelines to Domestic and Family Violence.

WorkHaven are now offering a 2 hour online workshop to help you to create a meaningful approach to DFV in your workplace. See here for more information

If your organisation wants to commence, update or enhance your approach to DFV, WorkHaven can help. For more information, please visit