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.

If the employer asks for proof, the employer and employee should both act in good faith. That means being open, honest and quick to respond.

The law does not state what kind of proof an employer can accept. Employers can accept any type of proof that an employee is affected by family violence.

Getting proof may not be simple, given the nature of family violence. Examples of proof include:

  • letter or email about what’s going on and how it affects the employee from either a:
    • Support organisation – for example, a family violence support service or Oranga Tamariki.
    • Support person.
  • report from a doctor or nurse.
  • report from a school.
  • a declaration – a letter of evidence witnessed by an authorised person like a justice of the peace.
  • any court or police documents about the family violence.

What the employer must do when asking the employee for proof depends on whether the employee is taking family violence leave or asking for short-term flexible working arrangements.

Family violence leave rights and responsibilities

Short-term flexible working

Page last revised: 17 August 2021

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