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“Ireland Introduces Paid Domestic Violence Leave Under the Work Life Balance Act 2023”

Effective immediately, individuals in Ireland facing or at risk of domestic violence are entitled to five days of paid leave under the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023. The new legislation ensures that those affected by domestic violence can take time off to access necessary support without compromising their income.

Employers seeking guidance on implementing this leave can turn to Women’s Aid, an Irish organisation addressing domestic violence, which has created the website DVatWork.ie. To assist employers further, Women’s Aid will conduct webinars offering advice on developing domestic violence policies.

According to Women’s Aid, one in four women in Ireland who have been in a relationship has experienced abuse by a current or former partner. Globally, UN Women’s 2021 statistics indicate that one in three women faces physical or sexual violence, primarily from an intimate partner.

Ireland’s Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, emphasised the importance of this new leave, stating that no one should endure poverty or unemployment while seeking support for domestic violence. Ireland now stands among the first European Union countries to grant this right.

Section 7 of the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 mandates five days of paid domestic violence leave within a 12-month period, with full pay. This leave can be taken without prior notice and is applicable for accessing various forms of support, including involvement with the Garda Síochána, securing alternative accommodation, obtaining court orders, seeking medical attention, engaging with victim services organizations, or pursuing counseling. The leave is available for employees who are victims of domestic violence, including coercive control, or those supporting their spouse, partner, or child who is a victim.

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