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27th Nov 2023

Minister Roderic O’Gorman implements domestic violence leave in Ireland from today

*Warning: This article discusses domestic violence
Domestic violence leave - Minister Roderic O’Gorman

The right to domestic violence leave has come into force today in Ireland.

Minister Roderic O’Gorman announced the commencement of domestic violence leave on Monday, November 27th.

Under the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023, anyone who is experiencing or is at risk of violence in the home will be entitled to take five days leave in order to access supports. 

It has also been confirmed that they will be entitled to full pay during the period of leave.

The time off can be taken without prior notice and can be used to access help from the Garda Síochána, to source alternative accommodation, to get a court order, seek medical attention, go to victim services organisations, or to seek counselling or other services.

According to a statement published today: “The leave can be taken where the employee is the victim of domestic violence, including coercive control, or where they are supporting their spouse, partner or child who is the victim.”

A series of webinars will be held by Women’s Aid in response to the rule change, which will provide advice and information to employers on new policies – these sessions are open to all employers and registration is now open.

Speaking today, Minister O’Gorman said: “No one experiencing domestic violence should have to risk poverty or unemployment in order to seek support. 

“From today, 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.

He 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.”

If you or someone you know if experiencing domestic violence in the home, you can access support information here.