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09th Nov 2022

Government’s five-day domestic violence leave plan criticised

The policy has inched closer to becoming law.

Yesterday, the Irish Government introduced a new domestic violence leave policy to the committee stage in the Dáil.

This proposed law would give survivors of domestic abuse five days of paid time off, and it would form part of the Work-Life Balance Bill.

However, as it reaches the committee stage, the proposal has been criticized for not going far enough.

As BreakingNews reports, Sinn Féin’s Louise O’Reilly expressed disappointment at the bill for offering five days, instead of her proposed 10.

Ms. O’Reilly, who is the party’s spokesperson for enterprise, trade, and employment, represents Dublin Fingal.

She told the Dáil that the decision “flies in the face of best practice and expert advice”.

“I am deeply disappointed that the government today insisted on going ahead with a number of deeply flawed amendments which will fail survivors of domestic violence who require paid leave from work,” she said.

She went on to say that the proposed five days paid leave plan is “insufficient” and “fails victims”. She highlighted how a 10-day policy would give survivors a better chance to find new accommodation, new schools for their children, attend court and any other measures they need to find safety.

Ireland’s plans to grant survivors of domestic abuse paid leave was announced earlier this year. At the time, Women’s Aid CEO Sarah Benson said: “It’s wonderful that something now will be put on a statutory footing. It will show how a workplace and employer can pivot to become an ally, rather than an additional challenge, for someone subject to domestic abuse.”

New Zealand and the Philippines have already enacted similar policies.

In the Philippines, employees who experience domestic violence are entitled to ten paid days off. In New Zealand, those affected by domestic violence are entitled to paid leave as well as flexible working arrangements.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, support is available. Women’s Aid’s 24hr National Freephone Helpline can be reached on 1800 341 900. Other resources can be found on their website right here.

Feature image: Leah Farrell/