Family violence is also known as domestic violence. It means all forms of violence in family and intimate relationships. Family violence can be physical, sexual or psychological abuse.
Rights for employees
Employees affected by family violence have the right to:
- take up to 10 days of paid family violence leave (employers can give more than the 10 days required by law). This is separate from annual leave, sick leave and bereavement leave. See Family violence leave rights and responsibilities.
- ask for short-term flexible working arrangements. This can be for up to 2 months. See Short-term flexible working.
- not be treated adversely in the workplace because they might have experienced family violence. This is discrimination. See Resolving problems with family violence rights.
It does not matter when the family violence took place. Employees still have these rights if they experienced family violence before they began working for their current employer or before the law changed on 1 April 2019.
Employees who have been affected by family violence can take paid family violence leave if:
- they have six months’ current continuous employment with the same employer, or
- they have worked for the employer for six months for:
- an average of 10 hours per week, and
- at least one hour in every week or 40 hours in every month.
Family violence leave rights and responsibilities
Employers must give at least 10 days of paid family violence leave each year to employees who qualify.
Short-term flexible working
Employees who are affected by family violence can ask for flexible working arrangements for up to 2 months.
Proof of family violence
If an employee takes family violence leave or asks for short-term flexible working arrangements, their employer can ask for proof.
Problems getting family violence rights
Employees can go to Employment New Zealand or the Human Rights Commission if they have problems getting their family violence rights.
Workplace policies and penalties
Employers should have policies that make a workplace supportive for employees affected by family violence. There are penalties for employers that break employment law.
Tools and Resources
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Domestic Violence Victims' Protection Act Factsheet - PDF 611KB
Factsheet outlining the new domestic violence rights and responsibilities in the workplace.
Rights for employees affected by domestic violence - PDF 1.1MB
The Domestic Violence – Victims’ Protection Act gives people affected by domestic violence more legal protections at work