Sinn Féin has progressed legislation through the Dáil that will provide for a statutory entitlement to domestic violence paid leave.
The legislation is set to be debated in the Dáil this week and it comes at a time when services which provide support for victims of domestic violence in Donegal have been calling for increased funding and support.
Donegal TDs Padraig Mac Lochlainn and Pearse Doherty have both raised the need for increased support for such services in Donegal with the Minister.
Deputies Mac Lochlainn and Doherty said “Despite the significant increase in demand for services during the pandemic, domestic violence and abuse continues to be underreported due to stigma, shame and fear.
“Domestic violence and abuse do not stop when victims leave their homes and it often follows them into their place of work.
“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.”
“Sinn Féin’s legislation provides for a statutory annual entitlement of up to 10 days domestic violence paid leave.”
“This provision would enable victims to 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.”
They say that long with the provision of proper funding for domestic violence shelters, this legislation to provide domestic violence leave is part of a number of steps that must be taken to help victims of domestic violence get support, get to safety and rebuild their lives.
They added “New Zealand, Australia and provinces in Canada have all introduced forms of paid leave. 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 an 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.”