Tuesday 01 December 2020
Green Party MLA Rachel Woods has launched a public consultation on her Private Members Bill on the provision of paid leave for victims and survivors of domestic abuse.
The public consultation has gone live today and will run until the end of January 2021. it is hoped that the Private Members Bill will complement new legislation on Domestic Abuse which is progressing through the Assembly at present, and is expected to reach Final Stage before the end of this year.
Rachel Woods MLA spoke about the consultation on her Bill:
"The purpose of the Private Members Bill is to introduce paid leave from work for victims and survivors of domestic abuse when they seek help. The ability to seek help can be a life-or-death matter for many victims of domestic abuse.
"Victims and survivors of domestic abuse are faced with various challenges when they seek help. They may need to secure temporary or emergency accommodation, often for children as well as themselves. Many people need time to receive legal advice and support, to deal with criminal justice agencies or seek medical help as a result of the abuse.
"My Private Members Bill seeks to ensure that victims and survivors can more easily meet the challenges of their changing situation. It's wrong that they may be burdened with additional stress around the prospect of losing their job or facing financial detriment as they seek help from domestic abuse.
"In developing this Private Members Bill, I've had extensive engagement with New Zealand Green Party MP Jan Logie. New Zealand introduced paid leave for victims of domestic violence in 2018 following seven years of work from Jan.
"I am committed to following the New Zealand lead here in Northern Ireland, to ensure that we put the right support in place for victims and survivors, assisting them in securing a safer future free from abuse and violence."
Sinead McIvor - 07701 302 498
Notes to Editors:
Link to the Public Consultation Document