Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children, Kathleen Funchion TD, has appealed to the Minister Roderic O’Gorman to back calls to ensure he protects victims of Domestic Violence, and sets the daily rate of Domestic Violence leave pay at 100% of an employees pay.
Teachta Funchion said:
“We know that many victims of Domestic Abuse experience financial abuse as part of the coercive control they are subjected to.
“This can mean limited access to family assets and savings, with many not having control of their own money.
“They often survive on very tight budgets. Even a small decrease in their usual pay may ring alarm bells for their abusers.
“Many individuals accessing Domestic Violence leave will do so at a time when they are either escaping or planning an escape from an abusive relationship.
“This time can be used to access legal support and court proceedings or for relocation.
“Their incomes and bank accounts are monitored in some cases, with cases of an abuser have complete control over their pay.
“A loss of income at this already challenging and in some cases extremely dangerous time, would exacerbate the risk to victims.
“Leaving an abuser can bring additional financial constraints, in the form of legal fees, accommodation and having to replace items left behind.
“Any reduction in income would be completely counterproductive.
“I have written to the Minister, and would encourage others to write, expressing my strong belief that Domestic Violence leave is paid at 100% of an employee’s pay.
“It is without question the best support to that employee, in the simplest possible way for the employer, with a very modest financial burden for the employer/organisation.
“Sinn Fein’s strongly held position is that up to 10 days’ domestic violence paid leave should be the statutory annual entitlement, unfortunately the Government’s Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act will provide for only five days’ leave in a 12-month period.
“I strongly feel that was a mistake, which cannot be compounded by less than 100% of an employees pay is paid.
“It is crucial we continue to de-stigmatise Domestic Abuse in Ireland and offer crucial support to victims.
“So I would appeal to people to contact the Minister who is currently drafting ministerial regulations to prescribe the daily rate of Domestic Violence leave pay to call for Domestic Violence leave be paid in full of the person’s normal rate of pay.”