Important step for workers’ rights as work-life balance Bill passed

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A Bill which gives new rights to employees and employers to support a better work-life balance has passed all stages in the Oireachtas.

The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022 aims to give workers and employers a better balance of family life, work life and caring responsibilities.

The Bill aims to support those who are victims of domestic violence through the introduction of a statutory paid leave entitlement of five days.

It introduces five days unpaid leave for medical care purposes for carers, and parents of children under 12.

It also includes five days paid leave for victims of domestic violence, and the right to request flexible working for parents and carers.

All employees will be given the right to request remote working, and mothers will be given two years of breastfeeding breaks.

Minister Roderic O’Gorman said that the Bill represents a ‘significant advance’ in workers’ rights in Ireland.

“It recognises the importance of family life and an improved quality of life for all workers, by supporting employees to achieve a better balance between their home lives and work lives,” he said.

“The passing of this Bill introduces a statutory entitlement to carer’s leave, the right to request flexible and remote working, and makes breastfeeding breaks a reality for women returning to work from maternity leave.”

He said that the introduction of domestic violence leave under this Bill is particularly important.

“Ireland is one of the first countries to introduce statutory domestic violence leave and I believe that this will make a real and meaningful difference for victims of domestic violence.

“Crucially, it will support those who are victims of domestic violence to leave abusive relationships. This leave was an important commitment in the Programme for Government and I hope it will lead to greater awareness of domestic violence in all its forms.”