December 8, 2020
Sinn Féin bring forward legislation to deliver paid leave for victims of domestic violence – Louise O’Reilly TD

Louise OR' ReillySinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights Louise O’Reilly TD has called for support from all parties, and none, for the Sinn Féin Bill being debated in the Dáil tonight that would provide for a statutory entitlement to domestic violence paid leave.

Speaking this afternoon, 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 will bring forward in the Dáil tonight, provides for a statutory annual entitlement of up to 10 days’ domestic violence paid leave.

“This provision would enable victims 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 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.

“The Programme for Government includes a domestic violence paid leave commitment.

“I am therefore calling on TDs from all parties, and none, to support this Sinn Féin Bill tonight and deliver this much needed support for victims of domestic violence.”

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