January 23, 2022
Government must seize important opportunity to introduce paid leave for domestic violence – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, has urged politicians to back the party’s legislation on paid leave for people affected by domestic violence.

The Organisation of Working Time (Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2019 would give survivors of domestic violence a statutory entitlement to paid leave for 10 days. This would enable workers to attend medical appointments, legal hearings or time off to deal with logistical issues such as moving house.

It was first introduced in the Dáil by President Mary Lou McDonald in 2019 and again by the party president and Teachta O’Reilly in 2020.

It will come before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth on Tuesday at 3.00pm.

Speaking today, Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Women can’t wait for the government to take action on gender-based violence. 

“Paid leave for people affected by domestic violence is an important workers’ right. Domestic violence is a workplace issue.

“Workers affected by this violence should know that if they need to, they can take paid leave to attend medical appointments, legal hearings or any other appointments incurred by abuse. They deserve to know that support will be there from their employer if they require it.

“On Tuesday 25th January, my legislation will move to the next stage of the committee process. I welcome that this legislation is progressing.

“I am calling on all Oireachtas representatives to back my legislation and ensure that paid leave for domestic violence becomes a reality.

“The coalition’s Programme for Government contains a pledge to ‘investigate’ the possibility of creating this right. That isn’t good enough. My legislation is here, it is fully drafted and sets out in a deliverable and detailed way how this much-needed change can be achieved.

“The government cannot hide behind this vague promise in the programme for government, which has now been gathering dust for almost two years while they have failed to treat it with the urgency it needs. I am calling on them to back my legislation and deliver this right without delay. The solutions are there and if we work together we can ensure they make a real change. 

“Women can’t wait for the government to keep kicking the can down the road with more dithering and delay. Enough is enough. If we are serious about eliminating violence against women and sending the clear message that such heinous crimes are unacceptable, we need more than just empty words. The time for political leadership is now. Women can’t wait any longer for these important rights.”

CRÍOCH/ENDS

Note to editors:

The legislation will come before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth on Tuesday at 3.00pm

Teachta O’Reilly will deliver a briefing on the legislation to members of the media at 2:30pm on Monday 24th January. For information, please contact [email protected]

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