Minister Donohoe launches a Domestic Violence and Abuse Policy for the Civil Service
The Minister for Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform, Pascal Donohoe, today Monday 25th September, launched a
Domestic Violence and Abuse Policy for the Civil Service, which sets out statutory entitlements to domestic violence leave and other employment supports for civil servants.
Minister Donohoe acknowledged the impacts of domestic abuse in wider society, but also the impact on the working lives of those experiencing it. With recent Government approval to publish the Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence (DSGBV) bill secured by Minister Helen McEntee, this policy further supports the Government’s commitment to deliver on commitments under Zero Tolerance, the Third National Strategy on DSGBV.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Donohoe outlined:
‘We must recognise that the workplace may be somewhere a victim has distance from an abuser and therefore employers are in a prime position to provide workplace supports and guidance toward specialist services.
It is in this context that the Civil Service has developed this important policy which underscores its commitment to supporting staff and colleagues impacted by domestic violence and abuse.’
Commenting on the launch of the policy, Sarah Benson, CEO, Women’s Aid, commended the development of the policy saying:
“Women’s Aid commends the Minister of Public Expenditure NDP Delivery and Reform for launching this important policy for the benefit of over 47,500 Civil Service employees nationwide. We know that employers who implement policies and procedures for employees subjected to domestic abuse can help to reduce the risk of victims/survivors giving up work, increase financial security and also increase feelings of solidarity and support at a time when victims/survivors may feel completely isolated and alone. Women’s Aid looks forward to continued collaboration with the Department and the Minister to support the implementation of this excellent initiative.”
The policy will be accompanied by a more detailed guide for Civil Service employers, as well as a programme of training and awareness.
Notes for editors:
- In 2022, the Government launched The Third National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based violence 2022 to 2026. On September 18th 2023, Minister Helen McEntee secured Government approval to publish the DSGBV Bill and to create a statutory agency dedicated to tackling and reducing domestic, sexual and gender-based violence (DSGBV) and supporting victims and survivors. The Bill, is currently at the second stage in the Dail. Once published the Minister will introduce it in the Oireachtas with the aim of securing enactment before the end of the year.
- 2023 saw the commencement of the Work Life Balance Act Miscellaneous Provisions Act. As part of this Act, victims of domestic violence can now take up to 5 days a year statutory paid domestic violence leave.
With the introduction of statutory domestic violence leave nationally, it is important that organisations develop policies outlining how they will support their employees through employment protections and guiding them towards specialist and expert support services.