Minister Roderic O’Gorman has announced the commencement of Domestic Violence Leave.

Under the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023, anyone experiencing or at risk of domestic violence will be entitled to take five days leave in order to access supports. They will also be entitled to full pay during the period of leave.

To facilitate implementation of this new leave, Women’s Aid were commissioned to develop supports for employers to implement the leave and have established a dedicated website.

A series of webinars will be held by Women’s Aid which will provide advice and information to employers on domestic violence policies.

 

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These sessions are open to all employers and registration is now open.

 

Speaking at the announcement, Minister O’Gorman said:

No one experiencing domestic violence should have to risk poverty or unemployment in order to seek support.

All employees will be entitled to five days leave on full pay so that they can access the supports they may need.

This will make Ireland one of the first countries in the European Union to introduce this right.

Minister O’Gorman went on to say:

Domestic violence leave is not just about the leave. It can start conversations in workplaces and society around domestic violence and raise awareness.

Employers have a crucial role to play and I would encourage them to use the supports which have been developed to create a safe space for employees experiencing domestic violence.

Welcoming the announcement, Minister Rabbitte said:

Domestic violence transcends geographical, cultural, and socio-economic boundaries. It encompasses a range of abusive behaviors, including physical, emotional, psychological, and financial abuse, often perpetrated within the confines of intimate relationships or households.

The victims, frequently women and children, endure not only the immediate physical harm but also enduring emotional scars.

Domestic violence undermines the fundamental principles of respect, equality, and dignity, perpetuating a cycle of fear and control.

It is essential to address this issue comprehensively, fostering awareness, providing support services, and implementing legal measures to protect those at risk.

and she continued:

Combating domestic violence requires a collective effort from communities, law enforcement, and policymakers to create a safe environment where individuals can escape abusive situations, heal, and rebuild their lives free from fear and intimidation.

Domestic violence during the Christmas season intensifies the already distressing impact of this pervasive issue, casting a shadow over what should be a time of joy and celebration.

The added stressors of the holiday season, such as financial strain, heightened expectations, and increased family tensions, can escalate the risk of domestic violence.

The pressures to create a perfect holiday atmosphere may exacerbate existing power dynamics within relationships, leading to a surge in abusive behaviours.

and she continued:

Victims may find it even more challenging to seek help or escape abusive situations during this time, fearing the disruption of traditional family gatherings or the potential consequences of exposing their circumstances.

The profound contrast between the festive exterior and the hidden pain within these households underscores the urgent need for increased awareness, support services, and community initiatives to address domestic violence, particularly during the vulnerable holiday period.

 

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