Rachel Woods MLA has welcomed the passage of her Safe Leave Bill at its Second Stage debate in the Assembly today (Monday 29 November 2021). The Private Member’s Bill will introduce a right of 10 days’ paid leave from work for victims and survivors of domestic abuse in Northern Ireland.
The Green Party NI MLA for North Down said: “I am glad that MLAs from across the political spectrum have come together today to support the principles of the Safe Leave Bill. This Bill will make a massive positive difference in the lives of victims and survivors of domestic abuse in Northern Ireland.
“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 seeks to help with.
“Safe Leave is already available in many countries including New Zealand, the Philippines, Australia, Canada, Italy, and several US states. Similar provisions are also being proposed in the Republic of Ireland. My Bill will ensure that victims and survivors in Northern Ireland are given the same rights as elsewhere.
“I am confident that there is enough time for this Bill to become law before the next election. It is a short and uncomplicated piece of legislation, but has the potential to save lives. After today’s debate, I am encouraged that there is the political will behind the Safe Leave Bill to ensure that it is passed.”
Media contact: Jack O’Dwyer-Henry (07504410770)