Paid leave to be introduced for victims of domestic violence

Paid leave to be introduced for victims of domestic violence

Roderic O'Gorman

Paid leave will be introduced for victims of domestic violence under legislative plans unveiled by ministers.

The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022 will introduce a range of measures to improve family-friendly work practices and support women in the work force.

Those who are suffering or at risk of domestic violence will be entitled to five days of paid leave per year under legislative provisions the government will introduce as committee stage amendments to the bill.

The government had agreed to examine the feasibility of establishing a statutory entitlement to paid domestic violence leave after a private member’s bill providing for 10 days of leave per year was put forward by Sinn Féin’s Louise O’Reilly and Mary Lou McDonald.

The bill will also provide for a right to request flexible working arrangements for caring purposes, for parents and carers; a right to leave for medical care purposes, both for employees with children up to age 12 and carers; and an extension of the current entitlement to breastfeeding/lactation breaks from six months to two years.

Roderic O’Gorman, the minister for children, equality, disability, integration and youth, said: “I am pleased to have secured Cabinet approval for publication of the Work Life Balance Bill.

“We are committed to ensuring that every child gets the best start in life, and supporting all parents to spend more time with their children in those precious early years is a big part of that.

“Through a wide-ranging suite of measures, it will provide additional flexibility to ensure that parents and carers can be supported to balance their working and family lives.

“Importantly, the bill will also provide significant assistance to those who are suffering domestic, sexual or gender-based violence. The government has always prioritised the issue of domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence, and Ireland will now become one of the first countries in Europe to introduce a right to paid leave for victims of domestic violence.”

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