Domestic Violence Leave - NZ

On 1st of April 2019, a new leave type called Domestic Violence Leave (DVL) will be introduced in New Zealand. To help you, here's everything you need to know.


The new law entitles employees affected by domestic violence to up to 10 days of paid domestic violence leave per year.

Payees become entitled after 6 months of employment. Employees will be able to take this leave as needed, similar to the existing sick leave and bereavement leave provisions. They’ll be able to take this even if the event occurred in the past, including prior to commencement of employment with the current employer.

Please note that these details are still subject to change.


DVL is paid in the same way as NZ Sick Leave & Bereavement Leave. That is, it is paid at one of the following rates:

  • Relevant Daily Pay (RDP) – what the payee would have been paid if they’d worked on the day the leave occurred (this applies where the payee has no variance in pay).
  • Average Daily Pay (ADP) – gross earnings over 52 weeks divided by days worked + any paid leave taken during that period (this applies where the payee’s pay is variable)

Other facts

  • Unlike Sick Leave, DVL does not accumulate/roll-over from one service year to another.
  • Periods of DVL count towards continuous service.
  • If a payee experiences a domestic violence incident while on annual holiday leave, the DVL takes precedence over the annual leave. For the employer this means:
    • Any leave days on which the DVL occurred must be deducted from DVL entitlement and those days must be credited back to the annual holiday leave balance.
    • The payment rate for the days on which DVL occurred must be paid according to the applicable DVL rate (RDP or ADP) and not the annual holiday rate and therefore a pay adjustment might be necessary.
  • If DVL falls on a public holiday, the day must be treated as a public holiday and must be paid as such and not as a DVL.
  • If a payee is receiving compensation payments while on ACC leave, the employer doesn’t have to pay DVL.
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