Victims of abuse may soon be able to avail of paid time off from work to cope with personal life matters. The Government is looking for feasible ways to introduce paid domestic violence leave in early 2022, a move welcomed by Women’s Aid. As reported in the Irish Times; Equality Minister Roderic O’Gorman made the scheme as a “personal priority”, recently stepping up efforts to introduce a statutory entitlement to the leave.
Coinciding with the relaunch of the Still Here campaign on television, radio, and social media, the plans remind people of the available support. Having paid time off can enable victims of domestic abuse to focus on bringing an end to an abusive relationship and find new accommodation.
According to reports, countries such as New Zealand and the Philippines have had success with this model. The implementation of paid domestic violence leave would see Ireland following the lead of such countries in bringing an end to this atrocity.
While “committed to introducing a statutory entitlement to paid domestic violence leave”, a Minister spokesperson said plans for the paid leave will be fast-tracked to “early in the new year. To inform these proposals, the department has engaged in a targeted consultation process with relevant stakeholders and social partners to examine how a scheme of paid leave should operate to address the needs of victims most effectively.
“This consultation included the monitoring committee of the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence, employers’ groups and trade unions and with stakeholders of the National Equality Strategy Committees.”
Government will soon receive a report of the aforementioned engagement, also set to contain recommendations on how to support victims. Meanwhile, Louise O’Reilly of Sinn Féin has further welcomed the move as she describes it a “very necessary” process.
“It’s wonderful that something now will be put on a statutory footing. It will show how a workplace and employer can pivot to become an ally, rather than an additional challenge, for someone subject to domestic abuse,” she added.