New domestic violence leave entitlements begin
Employers will be required to offer paid leave to workers who are subjected to domestic violence from today.
The Work-Life Balance Act, which was passed earlier this year, provides for up to five days paid domestic violence leave over a period of 12 months.
Minister for Children and Equality Roderic O’Gorman said no one experiencing domestic violence should have to risk poverty or unemployment in order to seek support.
The minister said Ireland is one of the first countries in the European Union to introduce this right.
Research shows that more than one-in-three working people surveyed across multiple industries and at varying levels of seniority have experienced domestic abuse.
Last week, a new online support hub was launched for employers ahead of the introduction of statutory domestic violence leave.
The website www.DVatWork.ie provides free resources to support employers to implement the new leave entitlements including a policy template with guidance notes, information sessions and an email support service.
It has been developed by Women’s Aid and funded by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.
“To reassure employers, addressing domestic violence as a workplace issue is not about taking on the role of a counsellor or support worker,” said CEO of Women’s Aid Sarah Benson.
“Rather, it is about creating a safe, supportive environment for victim-survivors to disclose what they are experiencing by reducing the stigma surrounding the issue and offering targeted support,” Ms Benson said.
The Irish Congress of Trades Unions (ICTU) has welcomed the new workers’ right to five days paid domestic violence leave.
“ICTU and our affiliated unions were happy to work hand in hand with domestic violence civil society groups in the lead-up to legislating for this significant new right,” ICTU said in a statement.
“We believe that it will make workplaces supportive environments for workers experiencing domestic violence and will enable employers to retain talent and ensure the safety of all in their workplaces,” ICTU said.