December 5, 2019
Sinn Féin leader seeks cross party support for domestic violence leave legislation

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has written to all party leaders seeking cross party support for Sinn Féin’s domestic violence leave legislation introduced in the Dáil earlier this week.

Speaking after today’s Oireachtas Briefing on Sinn Féin’s legislation at which Ethel Buckley Deputy General Secretary of SIPTU, Anne Clarke Manager of the Offaly Domestic Violence Support Service and Emma Murphy domestic violence advocate spoke, the Sinn Féin leader said:

“Deputy Maurice Quinlivan and I introduced legislation this week that provides for a statutory entitlement of up to ten days domestic violence paid leave.

“This provision is already in place in a number of jurisdictions. Vodafone recently introduced domestic violence leave and wrap around supports for its staff globally.

“There is a growing recognition that domestic violence is a workplace issue.

“For the first time violence and harassment in the world of work is now provided for in new international labour standards. Convention 190 was adopted at the Centenary International Labour Conference this year.

“Specifically, Convention 190 states that domestic violence can affect employment, productivity and health and safety, and that governments, employers’ and workers’ organisations and labour market institutions can help to recognize, respond to and address the impacts of domestic violence.

“Domestic violence often follows victims into their place of work. In the absence of workplace polices colleagues and managers are not equipped to support victims and ensure they are safe.

“Domestic violence leave would enable victims seek support, organise alternative accommodation or attend court dates without fear of losing their jobs. This provision would also benefit employers as it would address loss of productivity and high absenteeism rates.

“Sinn Féin’s legislation supported by a workplace awareness information campaign and guidelines would support and protect victims of domestic violence.

“Enactment of the Bill will also ensure Ireland meets its international obligations to ensure the world of work is free from harassment and violence.

“Deputy Quinlivan and I have today written to all political leaders seeking cross party support for this legislation. This Bill is for victims of domestic abuse and it is my strong view that this is a Bill that will unite the Oireachtas.” ENDS / CRIOCH

Notes to Editor:

Link to legislation: Organisation of Working Time ( Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2019 introduced in the Dáil on Tuesday 3 December 2019 https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/bills/bill/2019/96/

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