Domestic violence leave:  Government proposals fail workers, victims

Unite urges provision of 10 days’ paid domestic violence leave

November 8th: Unite, which represents women workers throughout the economy, today (Tuesday) expressed disappointment at the Government’s decision to provide for just five days of paid domestic violence leave.  The Government’s proposals are contained in amendments to the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022, which is being considered by the Select Committee on Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth today.

Commenting, Unite Regional Women’s and Equalities Officer Taryn Trainor said:

“Domestic violence leave is intended to facilitate women in accessing supports.  Given the lack of vital supports such as refuge places, five days’ paid domestic violence leave is not only inadequate but may actually mean that women are forced to return to an abusive situation because they do not have sufficient paid leave to complete their journey to safety.

“As we prepare to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25 November, it is not too late for the Government to change course and support Sinn Fein’s Organisation of Working Time (Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2020 which provides for 10 days’ paid domestic violence leave and is supported by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

“Providing for 10 days’ paid domestic violence leave would ensure that Irish legislation is in line with legislation in Northern Ireland, which already provides for 10 days.  It would also ensure that statutory provision does not lag behind the provision already negotiated by unions in a range of public and private sector workplaces.

“Anything short of 10 days paid domestic violence leave will fail workers who are subjected to domestic violence or coercive control”, Ms Trainor concluded.

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