Domestic violence leave needed to ensure a compassionate workplace

Ivana Bacik TD
05 October 2022

Labour leader Ivana Bacik TD has said that introducing statutory domestic violence leave is one of a range of supports that should be available to victims of domestic, sexual or gender based violence.

Speaking this morning, Deputy Bacik said that stronger workplace supports are necessary, not only to protect victims and survivors of domestic and family violence, but also to support those employees needing time off work for medical reasons due to early miscarriage or fertility treatment.

Deputy Bacik said:

“I am disappointed at reports today that Ibec have raised concerns about the introduction of statutory domestic violence leave and have reportedly raised particular issues about credibility of employees. This view is unlikely to represent the approach taken by the majority of employers, who will want to protect, support and help any employee who is experiencing domestic violence, particularly through offering time off work.

“We in Labour believe that employees and workers experiencing domestic violence should have statutory leave available to them where necessary, as one of a range of targeted measures needed to address domestic, sexual and gender based violence.

“We believe that a compassionate approach should be taken in the workplace where employees are experiencing significant traumas. In 2021, for example, we introduced a Bill that would provide up to 20 days leave for women who experience early miscarriage or 10 days leave for those undergoing fertility treatment who require medically certified time off work.

“Since we introduced this Bill in the Seanad, women across the country have shared their experience of early miscarriage, pregnancy loss and fertility treatment with us; they tell us how they wish that they had had access to such leave and have urged the Government to accept our Bill.

“We know that there needs to be a fundamental change of emphasis in how we talk about reproductive health issues; and about domestic, sexual and gender-based violence in the workplace to ensure that employees feel supported and affirmed. We call on the Government to move forward swiftly both with the legislation on domestic violence leave; and with introducing leave for those suffering early miscarriage too.”

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