Supporting the employee

Employees experiencing family violence

While not limited to the options below, the types of support available to an employee experiencing family violence include:

  • access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • temporary or ongoing changes to their span or pattern of hours of work
  • temporary or ongoing job redesign or changes to duties
  • temporary or ongoing relocation of their workplace
  • access to secure car parking
  • a change to their telephone number or email address to avoid harassing contact
  • paid leave up to 20 days within any 12 month period
  • other appropriate safety measures determined necessary
  • any other appropriate measure including those available under existing provisions for family friendly flexible work arrangements

Arrangements that are put in place to support an employee should be reviewed regularly by the affected employee and their principal or manager to ensure they are meeting the needs of the employee at that time. Any agreement to alter the working arrangements to support an employee must be recorded in a Workplace Support Plan (available on the Resources tab). These records must be kept securely by the principal or responsible manager.

An employee experiencing family violence may raise this as an issue with 1 of the people within the Department listed below:

  • their principal or manager (or a more senior manager)
  • their union delegate
  • a Department Workplace Contact Officer (WCO)
  • a People Services consultant

There are individuals in the Department specially trained to understand and respond to family violence, including WCOs and some People Services consultants. The names and contact details of the Department’s WCOs are available from the Workplace Contact Officer Network resources.

The role of the Department’s WCOs is to assist the employee to understand and access the support available through the Department in relation to their working arrangements. WCOs do not provide professional family violence support or counselling, however they can assist the employee to access specialist services.

The Department recognises that the experience of family violence may affect an employee’s attendance or performance at work. If an employee is experiencing family violence which they believe is affecting their work performance, they are encouraged to discuss this with their principal or manager so their circumstances can be taken into account. No adverse action will be taken in relation to an employee where their attendance or performance at work suffers as a result of that employee experiencing family violence.

Confidentiality is a key element to supporting an employee experiencing family violence. For information on privacy in relation to family violence, refer to the privacy and confidentiality chapter.

Should an employee have any concerns about their safety, or the safety of others in the workplace, the employee is encouraged to talk to their principal or manager or contact as listed above regarding their safety concerns, and to work with their principal or manager or other contact person to make any necessary adjustments to ensure their own safety and that of their colleagues.

Employees supporting someone experiencing family violence

An employee who is supporting a person experiencing family violence may access their personal or carer’s leave entitlement for this purpose. Their principal or manager may require suitable evidence to verify that the employee is providing care and support to someone affected by family violence. While not limited to the options below, types of support provided could include:

  • referral to Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • carer’s leave to accompany the person experiencing family violence to court, hospital or to care for children
  • changes to span of hours or pattern of hours or shift patterns
  • other forms of leave approved in accordance with the applicable policy
Supporting the employee for Family Violence — Information for Employees

Reviewed 14 May 2020

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