Written answers

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Leader of the Opposition; Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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92. To ask the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the reason for the delay in finalising domestic violence-paid leave recommendations; if the recommendations will include a requirement for victims to provide documentation to support an application for domestic violence-leave; and the date on which he will publish his recommendations in full. [46073/22]

Photo of Roderic O'GormanRoderic O'Gorman (Dublin West, Green Party)
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Since its formation, this Government has made it clear that tackling domestic, sexual and gender-based violence is a key priority. Conscious of the risk of poverty that those fleeing domestic violence face, the Programme for Government contains a commitment to investigate the provision of paid leave and social protection provision to victims of domestic violence.

The issue of domestic violence leave has been researched by officials in the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. This research has included consideration of domestic violence leave at international level, identifying best practice and developing a suitable model for roll-out in Ireland.

The Department engaged in a targeted consultation process with relevant stakeholders and social partners to examine how a scheme of leave should operate to address the needs of victims most effectively. This has included consulting with the monitoring committee of the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence, employers' groups and trade unions. Stakeholders of the National Equality Strategy Committees have also been consulted.

I have met with a number of employer representative bodies in relation to the domestic violence leave, as well as on the upcoming Work Life Balance Bill, including IBEC, Chambers Ireland and ICTU. Some of the issues that have arisen with the groups include the need for support for employers implementing such leave, as well as the need for flexibility in terms of people taking up the leave, and the documentation that would be required to support an application for domestic violence leave.

A report has been prepared based on this work, which was brought to Government this week. The report includes recommendations on how best to support employees experiencing domestic abuse, including proposals for the introduction of domestic violence leave, and will be published very shortly on Gov.ie.

As the Deputy will already be aware, I intend to progress domestic violence leave as part of the Work Life Balance Bill.

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