December 3, 2019
Sinn Féin introduces domestic violence paid leave legislation – Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD and Workers Rights Spokesperson Maurice Quinlivan TD have today introduced legislation to provide for a statutory entitlement to domestic violence paid leave.

The Sinn Féin leader and Dublin Central TD said:

“Despite its prevalence domestic violence continues to be under-reported due to stigma, shame and fear. One in five women will experience violence in their own home, and forty-one per cent of Irish women know someone in their circle of family or friends who have experienced intimate partner violence.

“Domestic violence 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.

“Legislators must also step up our responsibility to ensure that domestic violence victims’ rights and entitlements as employees are enhanced and protected.

“Sinn Féin’s legislation enables victims of domestic abuse to take the necessary time off work they require to seek support, find accommodation or attend court in a structured and supported environment. It also addresses unpredictable absenteeism and reduced productivity for employers.

“Ireland’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention and enactment of supporting legislation were important landmarks that must be built on and Sinn Féin’s domestic violence paid leave Bill does just that.”

Workers Right’s Spokesperson and Limerick City TD Maurice Quinlivan added:

“If we are to end the epidemic of domestic abuse in Ireland we need a whole of society response that both supports and protects women.

“Abuse often follows victims into the workplace. Stalking, persistent phone calls, threats or attack in the workplace can occur. Coercive control now recognised under the Domestic Violence Act can lead to abusers focusing their efforts on a partner’s workplace for the purpose of ending the employment.

“Legislators and employers have a responsibility to respond to this avenue of abuse by putting in place the necessary workplace and employment rights and protections for victims.

“Sinn Féin will be engaging with all political parties over the coming weeks to seek their support for this legislation, and we look forward to a productive dialogue with all stakeholders to advance this much needed entitlement.”

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