Domestic Violence Leave

Posted by Shieff Angland on March 21 2019 in News

New type of paid leave for victims of domestic violence available from 1 April 2019

The Domestic Violence—Victims’ Protection Act 2018 will come into force on 1 April 2019. From that day, domestic violence victims will be able to take a new type of paid leave, and seek a flexible working arrangement to help support them out of a violent situation.

The Act provides leave for both those who are subjected to domestic violence and someone living with a child who is subjected to domestic violence. The Act treats an employee as a person affected by domestic violence regardless of when the domestic violence occurred, even if this was before the person became an employee.

Once a person affected by domestic violence has completed 6 months’ employment, they are entitled to up to 10 days paid domestic violence leave, separate from annual leave and sick leave entitlements. The Act enables the employer to require proof that the employee is a person affected by domestic violence but gives little guidance as to what constitutes proof. Domestic violence leave does not accrue and is not paid out on termination of employment.

The Act also allows affected employees to seek a short-term, up to two-month, flexible working arrangement. The employee’s request must be in writing and the employer must deal with the request within 10 working days. The employer can refuse the request if certain specified grounds are met.

Lastly, the Act has broadened the scope of personal grievances to include a grievance for adverse treatment of an employee for being a person affected by domestic violence.

If you would like more information regarding the above, or have any questions, please contact us.

Shelley Eden, Partner
Contact her on +64 9 300 8756 or Shelley.Eden@shieffangland.co.nz

Tony (Tae Yong) Sung, Solicitor
Contact him on +64 9 300 8766 or Tony.Sung@shieffangland.co.nz

This paper gives a general overview of the topics covered and is not intended to be relied upon as legal advice.