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Cross-party support for paid leave for victims of domestic violence

A Galway West TD has welcomed cross-party support of legislation brought forward by Sinn Féin which would provide for paid leave for victims of domestic violence.

Speaking today, Mairéad Farrell TD said that despite the significant increase in demand for services during the pandemic, domestic violence and abuse continues to be under-reported due to stigma, shame and fear.

“Domestic violence and abuse do not stop when victims leave their homes and often follows them into their place of work,” said the Galway West TD.

“Legislation has a role to play in protecting women in the workplace and to ensure that victims’ rights and entitlements as employees are enhanced and protected.

“The legislation, which Sinn Féin brought forward to the Dáil this week, provides for a statutory annual entitlement of up to 10 days’ domestic violence paid leave.”

The Sinn Féin TD said that the provision would enable victims take the necessary time off work they need to seek support, find accommodation or attend court in a structured and supported environment.

It also addresses unpredictable absenteeism and reduced productivity for employers.

“New Zealand, Australia and provinces in Canada have all introduced forms of paid leave,” added Deputy Farrell.

“Ireland’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention and enactment of supporting legislation were important landmarks that must now be built on. ICTU recently called on the government to ratify ILO Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work.

“Article 18 of the accompanying recommendation identifies the provision of paid leave for the victims of domestic violence, flexible work arrangements and awareness-raising about the effects of domestic violence as appropriate measures to mitigate the impacts of domestic violence in the world of work.

“This legislation would be important addition to existing workplace rights and critically it would give victims the time to secure the support they need in the knowledge that their employment is secure.

“I welcome that the Government will not be opposing this important piece of legislation and I hope to see it enacted as soon as possible.”

Michael Malone
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