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Bill to allow five days of domestic-violence leave

23 Sep 2022 / legislation Print

Bill to allow five days of domestic-violence leave

The Government has approved the publication of a bill that will introduce paid leave for victims of domestic violence.

The proposed legislation also includes a range of measures aimed at improving family-friendly work practices and supporting women in the workforce.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth says that, once the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022 is enacted, those who are suffering,or at risk of, domestic violence will be entitled to five days of paid leave a year.

The Government has also pledged to put in place measures for employers to help them to develop policies on domestic violence, and to provide better support for employees experiencing domestic violence.

These measures were recommended by the Domestic Violence Leave Report, which the Government has also approved.

Flexible working

The bill also contains three main measures designed to support families and carers:

  • A right to request flexible working arrangements for caring purposes, for parents and carers,
  • A right to leave for medical-care purposes, both for employees with children up to age 12 and carers,
  • Extension of the current entitlement to breastfeeding/lactation breaks from six months to two years.

The bill follows a 2019 EU directive on work-life balance, which set a deadline of August this year for member states to introduce the required measures.

The European Commission yesterday (22 September) issued letters of formal notice to Ireland, and a number of other EU states, over their failure to notify the EU about the transposition of these measures.


Minister Roderic O’Gorman said that the measures in the bill would provide additional flexibility to ensure that parents and carers could be supported to balance their working and family lives.

He added that Ireland would now become one of the first countries in Europe to introduce a right to paid leave for victims of domestic violence.

The minister will now introduce legislative provisions providing for a form of domestic-violence leave as committee-stage amendments to the bill.

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