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Domestic and Family Violence Leave Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) The University is committed to providing a supportive environment where staff feel comfortable and supported when requesting access to domestic and family violence leave.

(2) This Policy outlines leave entitlements available to staff experiencing domestic and family violence.

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Section 2 - Application

(3) This Policy applies to all staff of the University.

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Section 3 - Roles and Responsibilities

Position Responsibility
Staff member Provides as much notice as possible of the proposed leave or notifies Supervisor/Manager of such an absence at the earlier opportunity.

Informs their Supervisor/Manager of the proposed leave.

Submits an application for leave.
Supervisor/Manager Considers a staff member’s request/application for leave.

Provides recommendation to the authorising officer.
Authorising officer Determines the final outcome of a request/application for leave.
Human Resources  Provides support to staff/Supervisors/Managers/authorising officers applying this Policy.

Provides assistance to staff to initiate a request/application to access this leave entitlement.

Provides assistance to Supervisors/Managers/authorising officers in situations where an affected staff members performance or attendance is impacted negatively due to external factors.
Health, Safety and Environment Provides guidance to staff members who need to access both external and internal expertise and support.

Provides ongoing support to staff, where required.

Provides advice to Supervisors/Managers to support their staff members who are impacted by domestic and family violence.
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Section 4 - Entitlement

(4) Staff members (including casual professional/sessional academic staff) are granted up to 20 days non-cumulative domestic and family violence leave (regardless of mode of employment) on full pay in a 12 month period. This leave is to assist staff:

  1. experiencing domestic and family violence; and
  2. needing to take necessary steps to deal with the impact of the domestic and family violence; and
  3. where it is impractical for the staff member to take these necessary steps outside the staff member’s ordinary hours of work.

(5) Domestic and family violence leave may be granted under circumstances including but not limited to:

  1. arranging safe housing or other safety arrangements;
  2. addressing childcare and/or education matters;
  3. accessing legal advice and support services;
  4. attending medical/counselling appointments/legal proceedings.
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Section 5 - Application and Approval for Domestic and Family Violence Leave

(6) A staff member should endeavour to provide as much notice as possible of the requested leave. If it is not possible for the staff member to give prior notice, the staff member will notify the Supervisor of such absence at the earliest opportunity on the first day of absence.

(7) An application for domestic and family violence leave will be submitted to the authorising officer online for approval prior to the leave being taken or, where this is not possible, at the earlier opportunity on the first day of absence or upon return to work.

(8) The Supervisor may require reasonable documentation in support of an application for leave such as a certificate from a registered health practitioner and/or a document issued by the police service and/or court and/or a statutory declaration.

(9) The University acknowledges that a staff member experiencing domestic and family violence may not be in a position to provide supporting documentation prior to or on the day of notifying the Supervisor of their absence. A staff member’s access to leave should not be unreasonably denied in the absence of supporting documentation. The University acknowledges that in some circumstances supporting documentation may need to be provided retrospectively.

(10) In circumstances where domestic and family violence is of such a nature and/or frequency a fixed-term or ongoing staff member can apply to the Vice-President (People) and Chief People Officer to access any unused additional personal leave to attend to necessary matters.

(11) Subject to approval from the authorising officer, a fixed-term or ongoing staff member may also take accrued personal, recreation, long service leave, and/or leave without pay to attend to domestic and family violence matters.

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Section 6 - Confidentiality

(12) The University will treat personal information in relation to a situation of domestic and family violence as confidential.

(13) The University will only collect information when and to the extent it is necessary to support decisions made under this Policy. All personal information will be managed in accordance with the University’s Information Privacy Policy.

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Section 7 - Exceptions to Policy

(14) The Vice-President (People) and Chief People Officer is authorised to approve variations to this Policy in exceptional circumstances. Any such variation will be recorded by Human Resources.

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Section 8 - Definitions

Term Definition
Domestic and Family Violence Means violent, threatening or other abusive behaviour by a close relative of a staff member or a member of a staff member’s household that seeks to coerce or control the staff member and that causes the staff member harm or to be fearful.
Close Relative Means:
  1. a spouse (including a current or former spouse, de facto spouse, or partner, regardless of gender identity or sexuality) of the staff member;
  2. a child (including an adult child, adopted child, step child and ex nuptial child), parent or step parent, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling of either the staff member of their spouse;
  3. a person, who due to kinship, cultural or religious beliefs is considered a member of the staff member’s family; and
  4. an intimate partner (including a current or former intimate partner).
Registered Health Practitioner Means a practitioner registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency or equivalent international body.
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Section 9 - Delegations

(15) Refer to Register of Authorities and Delegations (VC108, VC110, VC113) (QUT staff access only).