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Victims of domestic violence to be entitled to five days of paid leave under new plans

It is one of a number of measures in the Work Life Balance Bill.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

THE GOVERNMENT HAS rubberstamped the publication of the Work Life Balance Bill that will introduce paid leave for victims of domestic violence.

The Bill will bring in a range of measures to improve family-friendly work practices and support women in the workforce.

Once the legislation is enacted, those who are suffering or at risk of domestic violence will be entitled to five days of paid leave per year.

The Government will put in place support for employers to help them develop domestic violence workplace policies and to support employees experiencing domestic violence.

The Bill also contains three key measures to support families and carers.

These include 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.

It also includes an extension of the current entitlement to breastfeeding and lactation breaks from six months to two years.

Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman 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.”

Minister O Gorman 005 Source: Leah Farrell

The Government also approved the Domestic Violence Leave Report which includes recommendations on how best to support employees experiencing domestic abuse.

The report makes two key recommendations.

These include that a form of domestic violence leave be introduced and that supports for employers are put in place to assist them in developing domestic violence workplace policies to complement the leave and better support employees experiencing domestic violence.

The department also said the minister intends to introduce legislative provisions providing for a form of domestic violence leave as Committee Stage amendments to the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill.

Yesterday, an Oireachtas Committee was told that paid domestic violence leave should be based on an “honour” system, rather than forcing victims to prove they are entitled to leave through a doctor’s sick note

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