There is “no point” introducing a legal right to domestic violence leave in Ireland, a leading business lobby group has claimed.
In September, the Government introduced a bill that would give victims a right to five days of annual leave; however, the move has raised eyebrows in the business community.
“On the one hand, there is a lot of really welcome legislation on the social chapter coming from Brussels,” Neil McDonnell, CEO of Isme, told The Pat Kenny Show.
“When you hear some of this stuff though on domestic violence, a lot of this is coming from New Zealand and we already have provisions in place to deal with things like that like - such as force majeure leave.
“There are real dangers in going down this route.”
In New Zealand, all victims of domestic violence are entitled to 10 days annual leave. Australia has announced plans to follow suit and California grants it to those who work for companies with more than 24 employees.
However, Mr McDonnell said he is concerned that companies might not be able to ask for proof of domestic violence.
“Whether the employer would even want to ask or would be legally permitted to ask,” he said.
“These are all the unthought consequences of bringing in an entitlement like this when, in fact, it already exists.
“We have force majeure leave for employees and many businesses already have sick pay policies or compassionate leave policies.
“So these exist already. There is no point in bringing this type of legislation in.”
Irish law entitles an individual to three days of force majeure leave for “an urgent family reason” within a 12-month period.
Main image: A staged domestic violence illustration. Image: Frank May