Domestic Violence Leave

Domestic violence leave was introduced by the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 and provides for 5 days paid leave in a 12-month consecutive period where an employee has experienced in the past, or is currently experiencing, domestic violence.  The act defines domestic violence as “violence, or threat of violence, including sexual violence and acts of coercive control committed”.

The leave entitles the employee who is experiencing domestic violence to avail of the following as may be required:

  • to relocate temporarily or permanently
  • to seek legal advice or assistance
  • to seek medical assistance
  • to obtain the services from a victim services organisation
  • to obtain counselling
  • to seek assistance from the Garda or
  • to apply to obtain a safety order from the courts

Regulations due to be introduced in the Autumn will give further guidance to employers on how the rate of pay will be calculated and the Government has confirmed that employees who avail of domestic violence leave will be entitled to their full pay from their employer.

There is no mandatory service requirement to be entitled to the domestic violence leave and the leave also extends to an employee who is assisting a relevant person who is availing of some/all of the supports, which can be a spouse/civil partner, a dependent child/person or a co-habitant.

The employee will have to disclose the nature of the leave but no other documentary evidence will be required beyond that from the employee. The employer is obliged to keep records of any domestic leave taken by its employees and retain those records for three years.