December 9, 2020
Louise O’Reilly TD welcomes Dáil support for Sinn Féin Bill to deliver paid leave for domestic violence victims

Speaking today Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights Louise O’Reilly TD welcomed the support from TDs across the Dáil, including the Government, for a Sinn Féin Bill being to provide for a statutory entitlement to domestic violence paid leave.

Teachta O’Reilly 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 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.

“The legislation, which Sinn Féin brought forward and which passed Second Stage in the Dáil, 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.

“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.

“Sinn Féin warmly welcome the cross-party support our Bill received last night, and I hope the Government will continue to support its passage through the rest of the necessary stages in the Dáil and Seanad, and not try to delay its progression, so we make this much needed support for victims of domestic violence a reality in law.”

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