26 Sept 2022

Govt approves Bill introducing paid leave for victims of domestic violence

Govt approves Bill introducing paid leave for victims of domestic violence

A Bill introducing paid leave for victims of domestic violence has been approved for publication by the Irish government. 

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

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

Commenting on the Bill, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth 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.” 

The Bill contains three key measures to support families and carers, including a right to request flexible working arrangements for caring purposes, 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. 

As well as the Bill's approval for publication, the Domestic Violence Leave Report has also been approved by Government.

It makes two recommendations including the introduction of a form of domestic violence leave, and the creation of supports for employers to assist them in developing domestic violence workplace policies. 

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