Domestic violence victims to be entitled to five days leave on full pay

Domestic Violence Victims To Be Entitled To Five Days Leave On Full Pay
Trade unions, employer groups and organisations supporting victims of domestic violence had been consulted in the process to determine the percentage of rate of pay.
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Vivienne Clarke

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman has said that employees seeking domestic violence leave will be able to avail of five days on 100 per cent pay from the Autumn.

Ireland is one of the first European countries to bring in paid leave for victims of domestic violence he told Newstalk Breakfast and RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.


Trade unions, employer groups and organisations supporting victims of domestic violence had been consulted in the process to determine the percentage of rate of pay.

The rate of sick pay is 70 per cent, but the Minister said that given the “unique characteristics” of domestic violence leave it had been decided to make it 100 percent of the person’s salary.

When asked how a claimant would avail of the leave, Mr O’Gorman said they would just have to notify their employer but would not have to provide any evidence. That was a deliberate decision to make access to the paid leave as easy as possible.

“One of the other things we're doing is working with Women's Aid. We've commissioned a range of policy supports for employers because when we were doing the area consultations on this legislation, employers flagged nervousness about this, about the type of information that they would be learning about their employees.


"So we're putting in place a range of policy supports for employers so they can understand how to deal with a situation where an employee seeks this leave or they deal with a wider situation where they become aware that the employee is a victim of domestic violence.”

If an employer does not cooperate then the employee will have recourse through the Workplace Relations Commission, he said.

Review clause

Most legislation has a review clause after four or five years, but this legislation will be reviewed after two years, said Mr O’Gorman. “At that point, of course, there's an opportunity to extend the amount of time for which it can be taken.”

The Minister was also questioned in both interviews about accommodation for people seeking international protection, specifically the loss of “bed nights” in hotels in some parts of the country and the loss of student accommodation.


Mr O’Gorman said there would be a move away from hotel accommodation. Every effort would be made to diversify the type of accommodation being offered to such applicants including modular homes, vacant homes and pledged accommodation.

Efforts will be made to return student accommodation being used to house Ukrainian and international protection applicants to exclusive use of students in the Autumn, but in some cases that will not be possible.

Mr O’Gorman said he and his department recognised the implications for students in areas such as Sligo where student accommodation will continue to be used for asylum applicants.

“We're working hard now to bring online additional accommodation at some of the refurbished units that the Department of Housing have been working with us in terms of bringing forward for Ukrainians as many of those refurbished units will become available now in September, October, and that will provide a place for people moving out of student accommodation.”


The use of floating accommodation has not been ruled out. However, there were issues that needed to be addressed first such as planning permission, foreshore licences etc.

“It's not an easy solution, but because of the pressure on accommodation right now, we have to look at all potential avenues of accommodation and floating accommodation continues to be one that we're looking at.”

Mr O’Gorman also acknowledged that some international protection applicants were still living in tents – 200 people in Westmeath and Wicklow.

“We're also going to be opening some new short term tented accommodation on the site of the Central Mental Hospital. That's about to become a major development for the Land Development Agency. But for the next number of months, we are working with the Land Development Agency to have about 175 spare spaces for tented accommodation there.”


If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can contact Women’s Aid (24-hour freephone helpline at 1800-341 900, email or Men’s Aid Ireland (confidential helpline at 01-554 3811, email for support and information. 

Safe Ireland also outlines a number of local services and helplines at In the case of an emergency, always dial 999/112. 

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