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Domestic violence: Proposal to allow victims paid leave of absence

A  new proposal could allow the victims of domestic violence a 10-day paid leave of absence.  S...
Kate Demolder
Kate Demolder

12.42 14 Dec 2020


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Domestic violence: Proposal to...

Domestic violence: Proposal to allow victims paid leave of absence

Kate Demolder
Kate Demolder

12.42 14 Dec 2020


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A  new proposal could allow the victims of domestic violence a 10-day paid leave of absence. 

Speaking on The Pat Kenny Show Sinn Féin TD Louise O'Reilly, who tabled the motion, explained how the logistics would play out.

"So, it will work in the same way as parental leave," she said.

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"The thinking behind it is, we've all had a focus in the last couple of weeks on the rise in the number of calls to helplines and, indeed, to the Gardaí.

"But, this is legislation we had tabled over a year ago now and we've re-tabled it in light of the pandemic which has shown us that there's a very real need for this".

It would see those in need avail of physical care, emotional support and time off for legal reasons in case court dates arise.

"The Government did not oppose the legislation so I have written to the clerk of the Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment to address that Committee Stage be taken as soon as possible," Louise O'Reilly said on the show.

The latest report from Safe Ireland shows a total of 3,450 women and 589 children, who had never contacted a domestic violence service before, looked for support and safety from abuse during the first six months of COVID-19.

This equates to 575 'new' women and 98 'new' children every month - or 19 women and three children every day.

In total, at least 1,970 women and 411 children received support from a domestic violence service every month over the period.

"I see no reason to delay on this," Deputy O'Reilly continued.

"There is a commitment in the Programme for Government to investigate the Provision of Domestic Violence Leave. I know that the Government have embarked on a consultation phase as well. So, I'm hopeful that the two things can happen in tandem so we can have the consultation and we can also have the legislation at Committee Stage to tease out the best piece of legislation that it can be.

"To be fit for purpose so it ensures that it really acts as a support for the victims of domestic abuse ... That's the most important thing."

Anyone affected by issues raised in this article can find more information here.

Photo by: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/PA Images


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