A corporate lobby has protested plans to introduce paid domestic violence leave, claiming victims could already be on compassionate, force majeure or sick leave.
bec argued that employers should be allowed to ask for “evidence” to stop any “potential abuse” of paid leave for victims of domestic violence.
She also complained that the government was trying to introduce too many paid holidays at once, citing the extension of parental leave and the introduction of statutory sick pay, which would weigh on SMEs.
Last month the government passed a bill that would grant five days of paid leave each year to those suffering or at risk of domestic violence. If passed, Ireland would be one of the first countries in Europe to give victims of domestic violence a legal right to paid time off work.
The move follows a bill for private Sinn Féin members that would provide 10 days paid domestic violence leave in recognition of the fact that victims of domestic violence may have to go to court, seek counseling appointments or even relocate.
In March this year, Ibec sent a submission to the government setting out a number of concerns she had about domestic violence furlough. Employers should have a legal right to seek “proof” of domestic violence “to prevent any possible abuse of domestic violence”.
“Ibec contends that while domestic violence is a growing concern for everyone, the introduction of another form of paid leave will have a significant adverse impact on businesses, particularly SMEs, at a time when we have been in the last 12 months have seen an unprecedented surge in family vacations,” it said.
Domestic violence should be “treated on a case-by-case basis at company level, although it may be more appropriate, given the worker’s particular circumstances, for a worker to take another form of statutory leave, including force majeure leave or, where reasonable and applicable, special leave.
“Ibec submits this to the Ministry [of Children] We need to be aware of the significant legal and practical implications for employers and victims of domestic violence of introducing a domestic violence leave legislation,” she added.
“Domestic violence is a criminal offense and Ibec respectfully notes that bringing crime into the workplace is simply not appropriate.”
It said the government should conduct an economic impact analysis before introducing paid domestic violence leave to determine “whether the costs to employers outweigh the benefits”.
The lobby group also said domestic violence leave should only be for “a specific purpose that no other existing legal form of leave can fulfil, such as the purpose of attending an emergency court hearing or finding emergency housing.”
It rejected proposals to allow a victim to take domestic violence leave to access medical care, arguing that sick leave already existed.
It also raised concerns about the rights of people accused of domestic violence, asking if an employee “could be in a particularly acrimonious relationship and is intentionally trying to defame their partner by claiming they are a victim of violence, and filing a request for domestic violence leave on this basis”.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/ibec-objects-to-paid-domestic-violence-leave-plan-for-workers-42041039.html Ibec objects to paid leave schedule for domestic violence workers