Legal leave for domestic abuse victims welcomed in Limerick

Verena Tarpey, Rape Crisis Midwest

THE PASSING of a new Oireactas bill which allows five days statutory leave for victims of domestic violence has been welcomed by Limerick support organisations.

ADAPT Domestic Abuse Services and Rape Crisis Midwest welcomed the passing of Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022 through the stages of Oireachtas.

Rape Crisis Midwest says the statutory leave provision will provide valuable breathing space to allow men and women in abusive situations to access medical appointments, victim services, counselling, relocation to new premises, court order and legal advice.

Verena Tarpey of Rape Crisis Midwest said: “Domestic abuse can take many forms including physical, financial, emotional or sexual. This can be a stressful time and this Bill will enable employees to seek the supports and resources available without additional pressure of having to negotiate leave at their place of employment.”

“It also recognises abuse that can be perpetrated by a range of different persons including a spouse, cohabitant, those in an intimate relationship or an adult child.”

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Denise Dunne of ADAPT Domestic Abuse Services added that the leave “can also benefit employers as it can help towards an improvement in work performance, which often suffers as a result of what the person is going through as well as the added ongoing stress and pressure of trying to seek legal protection and support”.

“The legislation will also mean that employers will have to educate themselves around the impact of domestic abuse on employees and develop a policy to support the application of Domestic Violence Leave.

“This in itself will help raise awareness of the issue and hopefully encourage more victims to seek support”

Both organisations said they would encourage Justice Minister Helen McEntee to make regulations to ensure that the full prescribed daily rate of pay is awarded to “give those who need help the best opportunity to seek advice and support without the worry of a reduced income.”