Organisations must implement Domestic Violence Leave with effect from 27th November 2023.
Five Days Paid Leave
Domestic violence leave was introduced earlier this year by the Work-Life Balance Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023.
With effect from 27th November 2023, employees are entitled to up to five days of paid leave in a 12-month period and there is no mandatory service requirement, at full pay.
Who is Covered?
The leave is to enable employees experiencing domestic violence to seek support and services. It also extends to an employee who is assisting a relevant person to access or obtain these supports. A relevant person includes a spouse, dependent child, or cohabitant.
When can the Employee Apply for Domestic Violence Leave?
An employee is required “as soon as reasonably practicable” after taking the leave to notify their employer of the dates on which the leave was taken. Thus, it can be applied retrospectively after the employee has taken the leave.
Does the Employee need to provide proof to support their application for Domestic Violence Leave?
Employers should be aware that the employee does not need to provide any documentary evidence in support of their application.
Are their Employment Rights like Annual Leave and Public Holidays affected?
An employee will continue to accrue annual leave and public holidays during domestic violence leave and as noted above they should receive their full pay as normal.
Employees who propose taking or who have taken domestic violence leave are protected against penalisation which includes the dismissal of an employee, unfair treatment, etc. An employee can be awarded up to 20 weeks’ pay where penalisation has occurred or where the penalisation was dismissed, the Unfair Dismissals Acts apply.
Organisations should maintain a record of domestic violence leave taken and retain this for 3 years.