From today, anyone suffering from domestic abuse is entitled to five days leave from work in order to access supports.
This comes under the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023, and means workers will also be entitled to full pay during the period of leave.
The leave can be taken without prior notice and can be used to access help from the Garda Síochána; source alternative accommodation; get a court order; seek medical attention; go to victim services organisations; seek counselling or other services.
It can be taken where the employee is the victim of domestic violence, including coercive control, or where they are supporting their spouse, partner or child who is the victim.
To facilitate implementation of this new leave, Women’s Aid were commissioned to develop supports for employers to implement the leave and have established a dedicated website DVatWork.ie
A series of webinars will be held by Women’s Aid which will provide advice and information to employers on domestic violence policies.
These sessions are open to all employers and registration is now open.
Speaking today, Minister for Equality Rodric O’Gorman said:
"No one experiencing domestic violence should have to risk poverty or unemployment in order to seek support. From today, all employees will be entitled to five days leave on full pay so that they can access the supports they may need.
This will make Ireland one of the first countries in the European Union to introduce this right."
Minister O’Gorman continued:
"Domestic violence leave is not just about the leave. It can start conversations in workplaces and society around domestic violence and raise awareness.
“Employers have a crucial role to play and I would encourage them to use the supports which have been developed to create a safe space for employees experiencing domestic violence."