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.


Some ways the employer can make the workplace safe and supportive include:

  • creating a family violence policy that sets out how the employer will support employees who are affected by family violence
  • updating existing leave and holidays as well as flexible work policies
  • making changes at work to make sure staff affected by family violence are not treated adversely.

Having clear policies helps build good working relationships between workers and employers. They make it simpler for both employees and employers to handle the effects of family violence.

Create a family violence policy using Workplace Policy Builder (external link)

Penalties for employers

Employers that break employment law may have to pay a penalty of up to $20,000.

If the employer is an individual, they may have to pay a personal penalty of up to $10,000.

If the employer is a company or other body corporate, they may have to pay a penalty of up to $20,000. The employer may have to pay higher penalties for serious breaches of the law.

The Employment Relations Act 2000 sets out the penalties for breaking the law. For more about the possible penalties for employers under the Human Rights Act 1993, see the Human Rights Commission website (external link)

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Page last revised: 17 August 2021

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