VICTIMS of domestic abuse in Ireland are entitled to five days leave from work to access support under new legislation which came into effect this week.
Under the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023, anyone experiencing or at risk of domestic violence can take five days leave in a 12-month period and receive full pay.
The move sees Ireland become one of the first countries in the EU to provide citizens wth the right to domestic abuse leave.
Announcing the new rules, which came into effect on November 27, Ireland’s Minister for Children and Families, Roderic 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."
Minister O’Gorman is urging employers to use the new legislation as a starting point to create “safe spaces” in workplaces.
"Domestic violence leave is not just about the leave,” he said.
“It can start conversations in workplaces and society around domestic violence and raise awareness.
“Employers have a crucial role to play,” he added, “and I would encourage them to use the supports which have been developed to create a safe space for employees experiencing domestic violence."
The Women’s Aid organisation has been commissioned to develop support services for employers to help them implement Ireland’s new domestic abuse leave.
A dedicated website DVatWork.ie has also been created, while a series of webinars will be hosted by Women’s Aid to provide advice and information to employers on domestic violence policies.