Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023

Domestic violence leave

7. The Principal Act is amended by the insertion of the following section:

“13AA. (1) An employee shall be entitled to leave with pay from his or her employment, to be known and referred to in this Act as ‘domestic violence leave’, where—

(a) the employee or a relevant person has experienced in the past, or is currently experiencing, domestic violence, and

(b) the purpose of the leave is to enable the employee, in relation to the domestic violence experienced by him or her or, as the case may be, the relevant person, to do, or to assist the relevant person in the doing of, any of the following:

(i) seek medical attention;

(ii) obtain services from a victim services organisation;

(iii) obtain psychological or other professional counselling;

(iv) relocate temporarily or permanently;

(v) obtain an order under the Domestic Violence Act 2018 ;

(vi) seek advice or assistance from a legal practitioner;

(vii) seek assistance from the Garda Síochána;

(viii) seek or obtain any other relevant services.

(2) When an employee takes domestic violence leave, he or she shall, as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter, by notice in the prescribed form given to his or her employer, confirm that he or she has taken such leave and the notice shall specify the dates on which it was taken.

(3) Domestic violence leave shall consist of one or more days on which, but for the leave, the employee would be working in the employment concerned but shall not exceed 5 days in any period of 12 consecutive months.

(4) A day on which an employee is absent from work on domestic violence leave in an employment for part only of the period during which he or she is required to work in the employment on that day shall be deemed, for the purposes of subsection (3), to be one day of domestic violence leave.

(5) An employer shall pay an employee a prescribed daily rate of pay (in this section referred to as ‘domestic violence leave pay’) for each day on which the employee is absent from work on domestic violence leave.

(6) Subject to subsection (7), the Minister may make regulations for the purpose of prescribing the daily rate of domestic violence leave pay which may—

(a) specify the percentage rate of an employee’s pay, up to a maximum daily amount, at which domestic violence leave pay will be paid,

(b) subject to the maximum daily amount specified in accordance with paragraph (a), specify an allowance in respect of board and lodgings, board only or lodgings only in a case in which such board or lodgings constitute part of the employee’s remuneration calculated at the prescribed rate, or

(c) subject to the maximum daily amount specified in accordance with paragraph (a), specify basic pay and any pay in excess of basic pay in respect of shift work, piece work, unsocial hours worked or hours worked on a Sunday, allowances, emoluments, premium pay (or its equivalent), or any other payment as the Minister considers appropriate, that are to be taken into account in the calculation of domestic violence leave pay.

(7) In making regulations under subsection (6), the Minister shall have regard to the following matters:

(a) the state of society generally, the public interest and employee well being;

(b) the potential impact, including the potential for any disproportionate or other adverse impact, that the rate of domestic violence leave pay to be prescribed will have on the economy generally, specific sectors of the economy, employers or employees;

(c) annual and quarterly data on earnings and labour costs as published by the Central Statistics Office;

(d) expert opinion, including that of victim services organisations, research and national and international reports relating to the matters specified at paragraphs (a) to (c) that the Minister considers relevant;

(e) the views of employer representative bodies and trade unions;

(f) such other matters as the Minister considers relevant.

(8) In this section—

‘dependent person’, in relation to a person, means any child of the person, or in respect of whom the person is in loco parentis, who is not of full age, or, if the child has attained full age, is suffering from a mental or physical disability to such an extent that it is not reasonably possible for him or her to live independently of the employee or relevant person;

‘domestic violence’ means violence, or threat of violence, including sexual violence and acts of coercive control committed against an employee or a relevant person by another person who—

(a) is the spouse or civil partner of the employee or relevant person,

(b) is the cohabitant of the employee or relevant person,

(c) is or was in an intimate relationship with the employee or relevant person, or

(d) is a child of the employee or relevant person who is of full age and is not, in relation to the employee or relevant person, a dependent person;

‘relevant person’ means, in relation to an employee—

(a) the spouse or civil partner of the employee,

(b) the cohabitant of the employee,

(c) a person with whom the employee is in an intimate relationship,

(d) a child of the employee who has not attained full age, or

(e) a person who, in relation to the employee, is a dependent person;

‘spouse’ has the same meaning as it has in section 2 of the Domestic Violence Act 2018 .”.