New right to domestic violence leave comes into effect.

Following on from our article in July, Minister Roderic O’Gorman yesterday announced the commencement of domestic violence leave which provides that anyone experiencing or at risk of domestic violence will be entitled to take five days leave in a 12 month period in order to access supports. They will also be entitled to full pay during the period of leave.

Minister O’Gorman has stated:

“No one experiencing domestic violence should have to risk poverty or unemployment in order to seek support. From today, all employees will be entitled to five days leave on full pay so that they can access the supports they may need. This will make Ireland one of the first countries in the European Union to introduce this right.”

Domestic violence leave was introduced by the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 which was signed into law on the 4th of April 2023 by President Michael D. Higgins. The Act defines domestic violence as “violence, or threat of violence, including sexual violence and acts of coercive control.”

The purpose of domestic violence leave is to enable the employee to, for example, seek medical attention or legal assistance, obtain counselling or relocate, without impacting on their employment and income. Any employee, including part-time and fixed-term employees can seek to avail of domestic violence leave. The entitlement also extends to relevant persons. Employees may use the leave to aid a relevant person in obtaining support. A relevant person may include a spouse, civil partner or cohabitant of the employee, 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.

Statutory Sick leave increased to 5 days from 1 January 2024

The Sick Leave Act 2022 commenced on 1 January 2023 and is being rolled out as part of a 4-year plan.

From 1 January 2023, the entitlement was 3 days paid sick leave, this will increase to 5 days from 1 January 2024. It is proposed that the entitlement will increase to 7 days for 2025 and to 10 days for 2026. The legislation provides that an employer must pay 70% of a worker’s wage to a maximum of €110 a day provided the employee has a medical certificate and has worked for their employer for a minimum of 13 weeks.

Next Steps

Employers should review and update their absence and leave policies to reflect the above and inform employees of any changes.

If you need assistance please contact Caoimhe Heery, Partner at or Claire McDermott, Partner at  or any member of the Flynn O’Driscoll Employment Team.

This article is current as at 28 November 2023 and is provided for information only and does not constitute legal advice.

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