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Domestic abuse leave to become a right from day one in Northern Ireland

A new bill passed in Northern Ireland will provide employees who are victims of domestic abuse with the right to up to ten days of paid leave a year, to be known as "safe leave".

The Bill provides a framework which includes:

• Safe leave will be available to all employees from the first day of their employment, without any qualifying service requirement.

• The leave is intended to be used for issues relating to the abuse, which could include (but is not limited to) obtaining legal advice, finding alternative accommodation, taking advantage of healthcare, obtaining welfare support and protecting family members.

• An employee on safe leave will be entitled to the benefit of their usual terms and conditions. Safe leave may be taken at the same time as other family-related leave.

Workplace issues relating to domestic abuse have come under increased scrutiny in the UK in recent years, prompted partly by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In January 2021, BEIS published a report on improving workplace support for victims of domestic abuse, alongside new Acas guidance, and committed to setting up a working group to consider the issue further


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Feb 21

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