Tomorrow (Tuesday 19th October 2021), the Domestic Abuse (Safe Leave) Bill will be introduced to the NI Assembly. The Private Members’ Bill, proposed by the Green Party NI’s Rachel Woods MLA, will introduce a statutory provision of at least 10 days of paid leave a year for victims and survivors of domestic abuse.
The North Down MLA said: “I’m glad that my Private Member’s Bill will begin its legislative journey through the Assembly. Safe Leave will make a real difference to victims and survivors of domestic abuse, which we know is also a workplace issue.
“It will be a lifeline for domestic abuse victims and survivors, giving them the time to find alternative accommodation, deal with legal issues, get welfare support, seek healthcare, and protect their families. For many victims and survivors, the threat of losing their job is a significant additional burden during an already difficult and stressful time.
“Safe Leave is a policy which has already been introduced in many countries, including Australia, Canada, Italy, New Zealand, the Philippines, and several US states. Similar legislation is also being brought forward in the Republic of Ireland. The private sector has also recognised its significance, with Danske Bank and Vodafone offering it to their employees.
“I hope that all MLAs will support this legislation, and look forward to the Second Stage debate next month. We must ensure that the right to Safe Leave is guaranteed in law by the end of this mandate."
Media contact: Jack O’Dwyer-Henry (07504410770)