Today, the Domestic Abuse (Safe Leave) Bill will have its Second Stage debate in the NI Assembly. The Private Member’s Bill, proposed by 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 Green Party MLA for North Down said: “I look forward to the debate on my Private Member’s Bill. Safe Leave will make a real difference to victims and survivors of domestic abuse.
“Safe Leave 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, something this Bill will help alleviate.
“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.
“This is a short and uncomplicated piece of legislation, but it has the potential to make a significant positive impact to the lives of vulnerable people. I hope that MLAs from all parties will support the Bill - 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)