Ireland’s New Right to Domestic Violence Leave Comes into Force
The right to domestic violence leave commences in Ireland today. Under the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023, anyone experiencing or at risk of domestic violence will be entitled to take five days leave in order to access supports. They will also be entitled to full pay during the period of leave.
To facilitate implementation of this new leave, Women’s Aid, an Irish organization working to prevent and address the impact of domestic violence and abuse, was commissioned to develop supports for employers to implement the leave and have established a dedicated website DVatWork.ie
According to Women’s Aid, one in four women in Ireland who have been in a relationship have been abused by a current or former partner. While, according to statistics released by UN Women in 2021, 1 in 3 women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner.
A series of webinars will be held by Women’s Aid which will provide advice and information to employers on domestic violence policies. These sessions are open to all employers and registration is now open.
Announcing the new domestic violence leave, Ireland’s Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman said, ‘No one experiencing domestic violence should have to risk poverty or unemployment in order to seek support. From today, all employees will be entitled to five days leave on full pay so that they can access the supports they may need. This will make Ireland one of the first countries in the European Union to introduce this right.’
Section 7 of the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 introduces 5 days paid domestic violence leave in a 12-month period. The leave will be paid at the full rate of pay of the employee. The leave can be taken without prior notice and can be used to access help from the Garda Síochána, Ireland’s police force; source alternative accommodation; get a court order; seek medical attention; go to victim services organisations; seek counselling or other services. The leave can be taken where the employee is the victim of domestic violence, including coercive control, or where they are supporting their spouse, partner or child who is the victim.