The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill will offer victims of domestic violence a statutory paid leave period of five days
By Riona Maguire
Rape Crisis Midwest and ADAPT Domestic Abuse Services have welcomed the passing of the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022.
Introducing new rights for employees to support a better balance of family life, work life and caring responsibilities, the bill will also support victims of domestic violence through the introduction of a statutory paid leave period of five days.
Rape Crisis Midwest welcomed the planned introduction of five days leave for victims of abuse and said it will provide “valuable breathing space” to allow men and women in abusive situations to access medical appointments, victim services, counselling, relocation to new premises, court orders and legal advice.
Verena Tarpey of Rape Crisis Midwest commented, “Domestic abuse can take many forms including physical, financial, emotional or sexual. This can be a stressful time and this Bill will enable employees to seek the supports and resources available without additional pressure of having to negotiate leave at their place of employment. It also recognises abuse that can be perpetrated by a range of different persons including a spouse, cohabitant, those in an intimate relationship or an adult child.”
Denise Dunne of ADAPT Domestic Abuse Services added, “Domestic violence leave can also benefit employers as it can help towards an improvement in work performance, which often suffers as a result of what the person is going through, as well as the added ongoing stress and pressure of trying to seek legal protection and support,” Denise Dunne from ADAPT Domestic Abuse Services said.
“The legislation will also mean that employers will have to educate themselves around the impact of domestic abuse on employees and develop a policy to support the application of Domestic Violence Leave. This in itself will help raise awareness of the issue and hopefully encourage more victims to seek support,” she added.
Both groups have encouraged the government to ensure that the full daily rate of pay is awarded, in order to give those seeking assistance the best opportunity to do so, without the additional worry of a reduced income.
In a joint statement, Rape Crisis Midwest and ADAPT explained, “Many subjected to financial abuse will have their bank accounts checked and monitored by their abuser. If there is a change in their salary, it might possibly alert an abuser to plans being made by their partner creating further hardship and risk.”
Ms Tarpey added, “This new legislation will send a strong message to the public that we cannot tolerate any form of violence in society. We hope it will raise awareness, offer support and reduce the stigma that exists in society as well as fostering a culture of open communication in workplaces whereby Managers and employers can speak more openly to their staff about domestic violence.”
The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022 introduces:
- 5 days unpaid leave for medical care purposes for parents of children under 12, and carers
- 5 days paid leave for victims of domestic violence
- the right to request flexible working for parents and carers
- the right to request remote working for all employees
- 2 years breastfeeding breaks
Find out more about Rape Crisis Midwest, freephone 1800 311511 or 061 311511, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
tags: Rape Crisis Midwest, Work Life Balance Bill, Domestic Violence, Remote Working, Roderic O’Gorman, Verena Tarpey, ADAPT Domestic Abuse Services