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Blog  »  March 2023  »  Domestic Leave Updates - Blog
Mar 23

Posted by
Charlotte McArdle

Domestic Leave Updates

The Government has now approved the publication of the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022, which will introduce five days of paid leave for those suffering from, or at risk of, domestic violence.

When enacted, this legislation will support workers to remain employed and maintain financial independence, allowing them space to seek the necessary support. This is the first statutory employment benefit when it comes to domestic violence, and its introduction will significantly impact employees suffering from, or at risk of, domestic violence.

Who can avail of the leave?

Any employee who has a contract of employment can avail of the leave. This includes part-time employees and fixed-term employees. There is no minimum service requirement for employees to avail of this leave. The Bill provides that employees are entitled to paid domestic violence leave from their employer where the employee or a "relevant person" has experienced in the past, or is currently experiencing, domestic violence.

What does "relevant person" mean?

A relevant person is defined in the Bill as:

  • the spouse or civil partner of the employee;
  • the cohabitant of the employee;
  • a person with whom the employee is in an intimate relationship;
  • a child of the employee who has not attained full age; or
  • a person who, in relation to the employee, is a dependent person.

How does the Bill define domestic violence?

Domestic violence is defined as violence or the threat of violence, including sexual violence and acts of coercive control that has been committed against an employee or a "relevant person" by any of the following:

  • the spouse or civil partner of the employee or relevant person;
  • the cohabitant of the employee or relevant person;
  • someone who is, or was, in an intimate relationship with the employee or relevant person; or
  • child of the employee or relevant person who is of full age and is not, in relation to the employee or relevant person, a dependent.

What is the purpose of the leave?

The purpose of domestic violence leave is to enable victims of domestic violence to seek medical help, obtain counselling, relocate, seek advice or assistance, or obtain a safety order from the courts. As the leave also extends to relevant persons, employees may avail of the leave to assist the relevant person in any of these ways.

How many days leave are employees entitled to under the Bill?

Employees will be entitled to five days paid domestic violence leave in any period of 12 consecutive months.

What will the prescribed rate of pay be for employees availing of the leave?

The Bill provides that the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth may make regulations to prescribe the daily rate of domestic violence leave pay, which may be capped at a maximum daily amount.

Will employees be required to show proof of domestic violence?

No, employees will not be required to produce proof of domestic violence to avail of the leave.

Currently is status of this Bill is in Stage Four in the Seaned. The Bill, as initiated, is available here.

Once further updates have been given will we also provide further updated guidance.

Posted in Employment Law, Employment Update