May 26, 2021
NUI Galway leading the way on workers’ rights with domestic violence leave policy – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, has hailed NUI Galway as leading the way on workers’ rights in advance of the launch of their domestic violence leave policy.

Speaking today, Teachta O’Reilly said:

“This afternoon the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) will officially launch their domestic violence leave policy.

“This policy is a landmark piece of work and a fantastic addition in the area of workers’ rights.

“Many people across NUIG came together to produce this policy and they deserve the highest levels of praise for their work.

“The purpose of the domestic violence leave policy is to provide for a period of paid time away from work for staff members who have suffered or are suffering from domestic violence or abuse.

“This leave will enable the staff member to take the time they need to seek assistance in a structured and supported environment.

“I would hope that government, politicians, and workplaces in the public and private sector, sit up and take notice of the work that NUIG have done, and follow suit themselves.

“Work in this area, however, must also be matched by comparable effort from politicians. Domestic violence is serious employment issue and should be treated as such.

“Domestic violence and abuse may take place in the home, but this abuse often follows victims into the workplace.

“Co-workers may be aware of a colleague’s abuse, but in the absence of a workplace policy are unsure on how best to support them. Managers need guidance on how to recognise the signs of domestic abuse and how to respond to a staff member’s disclosure.

“As a politician and legislator, I know I have a role in protecting women and men in the workplace, and to ensure that victims’ rights and entitlements as employees are enhanced and protected.

“That was the reason I, and my colleague, the Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD, were compelled to introduce the Organisation of Working Time (Domestic Violence Leave) Bill in the Dáil last year, which seeks to provide for a statutory annual entitlement of up to 10 days’ domestic violence paid leave.

“Such a provision would give victims a legal entitlement to time off work to seek support, find accommodation, or attend court in a structured and supported environment.

“The government needs to sit up and take notice of the important work that NUIG have done with their domestic violence leave policy, and they need to show leadership and follow suit by legislating to ensure the provision of paid domestic violence leave and associated domestic violence workplace policies.”

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