Support for employees experiencing domestic and family violence
Violence against anyone of any gender is unacceptable.
However, evidence shows overwhelmingly that women experience the most domestic and family violence with an average of one Australian woman murdered by her current or former partner each week.
Public sector workplaces play an important role in supporting employees who are experiencing domestic and family violence.
Paid and unpaid leave is available for any employee experiencing or escaping domestic and family violence. This includes 15 days special leave with pay in addition to existing leave entitlements.
All public sector employees experiencing domestic family violence can access domestic and family violence special leave provisions. For more information, see Attachment F of
Commissioner’s Determination 3.1 – Employment Conditions – Hours of Work, Overtime and Leave.
The Guideline of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment: Domestic and Family Violence provides information for an employee experiencing domestic and family violence as well as the line manager and human resources professional who is supporting them.
Employees experiencing or escaping domestic and family violence are encouraged to advise their manager or human resources professional so that appropriate supports and safety measures can be put in place. This information is treated as strictly confidential, except where disclosure on a ‘need to know’ basis is required to maintain the safety of the employee concerned or that of another member of staff.
Supports and safety measures include:
- assessing the risk to the employee’s safety in the workplace
- creating a safety plan designed to promote the employee’s safety and address the risk in the workplace and coming and going from work (examples of planned actions can include changes in work arrival and departure times or work locations)
- adopting flexible work arrangements to support the employee to stay in employment while accessing support and/or changing their living arrangements.
Several support services are available for any public sector employee experiencing domestic and family violence.
- Call 000 in an emergency
- For free 24/7 confidential counselling, information and support, call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – Department of Social Services (national helpline)
- For free crisis counselling and access to safe accommodation, call 1800 800 098 – Domestic Violence Crisis Line, Women’s Safety Services SA
- For free confidential help for adult victims of crime, witnesses, and their families and friends, call 1800 VICTIM (1800 842 846) – Victim Support Service SA
- For free confidential help for women experiencing work-related issues, call 08 8410 6499 Metropolitan or 1800 652 697 Regional – Working Women’s Centre SA Inc.
If you feel unsafe or that you may be at risk of domestic or family violence, you can request information about your current or former partner via the SAPOL Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) or phone 131 444.
If you have a reasonable suspicion that a child has been or is being abused or neglected, you can call the Child Abuse Report Line (CARL) on 131 478 (24/7 helpline).
If you are a public sector employee who is experiencing personal or work related problems, you can access the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).