Carlow/Kilkenny Fine Gael TD Kathleen Funchion
Sinn Féin has progressed legislation through the Dáil that will provide for a statutory entitlement to domestic violence paid leave, according to Carlow/Kilkenny TD Kathleen Funchion.
The Carlow/Kilkenny TD said that despite the significant increase in demand for services during the pandemic, domestic violence and abuse continues to be underreported due to stigma, shame and fear.
“Domestic violence and abuse do not stop when victims leave their homes and often follows them into their place of work," she said.
“Legislation has a role to play in protecting women in the workplace and to ensure that victims’ rights and entitlements as employees are enhanced and protected."
The Carlow/Kilkenny TD said Sinn Féin’s legislation provides for a statutory annual entitlement of up to 10 days domestic violence paid leave.
“This provision would enable victims take the necessary time off work they need to seek support, find accommodation or attend court in a structured and supported environment. It also addresses unpredictable absenteeism and reduced productivity for employers," she said.
“Along with the provision of proper funding for domestic violence shelters, this legislation to provide domestic violence leave is part of a number of steps that must be taken to help victims of domestic violence get support, get to safety and rebuild their lives.
“New Zealand, Australia and provinces in Canada have all introduced forms of paid leave. Ireland’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention and enactment of supporting legislation were important landmarks that must now be built on.
“ICTU recently called on the Government to ratify ILO Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work. Article 18 of the accompanying recommendation identifies the provision of paid leave for the victims of domestic violence, flexible work arrangements and awareness-raising about the effects of domestic violence as appropriate measures to mitigate the impacts of domestic violence in the world of work," the Carlow/Kilkenny TD added.
“This legislation would be important addition to existing workplace rights and critically it would give victims the time to secure the support they need in the knowledge that their employment is secure.”