by Breda O'Malley , Ciaran Doyle August-09-2023 in Employment Law

From mid-Autumn 2023, Minister Roderic O’Gorman has announced that employees experiencing domestic violence will be entitled to take domestic violence leave pursuant to the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 (the “Act”), which passed earlier this year.

We outline some of the key points for employers below:

  • An employee may take up to five days’ fully paid leave within any period of 12 consecutive months.
  • To avail of leave, an employee must have experienced in the past, or currently be experiencing, domestic violence. “Domestic violence” is broadly defined to include violence, or threat of violence, including sexual violence and acts of coercive control.
  • An employee may also take leave where a “relevant person” has experienced or is experiencing domestic violence. “Relevant person” includes a spouse or civil partner of the employee, a cohabitant, 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.
  • There is no minimum service requirement specified in the Act, and it applies to any employee who has entered, or works under, a contract of employment (including fixed-term and part-time employees).
  • The purpose of the leave is to enable the employee to do or assist a relevant person in doing one of the following:
      1. seek medical attention;
      2. obtain services from a victim services organisation;
      3. obtain psychological or other professional counselling;
      4. relocate temporarily or permanently;
      5. obtain an order under the Domestic Violence Act 2018;
      6. seek legal advice;
      7. seek Garda assistance;
      8. seek or obtain any other relevant services.
  • Employees must notify their employers as soon as reasonably practicable that they are taking domestic violence leave and specify the dates on which it was taken. Importantly, employees are not required to provide any evidence to support their leave. The decision not to require supporting evidence was made to make paid domestic violence more accessible for employees.
  • Women’s Aid is currently developing tools and guidelines for employers in respect of domestic violence leave.

Please contact Breda O’Malley, Partner, or your usual contact in Hayes solicitors LLP, for more information or assistance with queries relating to domestic violence leave.

Back to Full News