Fórsa has called for workplace supports for sufferers of domestic violence and abuse, including paid leave and flexible working arrangements.
Addressing the union’s Services and Enterprises Division conference last week, head of division Ashley Connolly called on the Government to develop a formal domestic violence scheme. She urged employers to work with unions to ensure that provisions are in place for those who suffer domestic abuse.
“We’re calling for the development of workplace policies to ensure these supports are in place. Workers should feel supported and should not face losing their jobs or pay because of domestic abuse,” she said.
Victims of domestic abuse and violence very often need to take time off to access legal or financial support, and during the working day can be the only safe time to do this.
“We know that the effects of domestic abuse spills over into the workplace and I can tell you, from some of the cases I have worked on, when an employer provides a supportive workplace this can make a real difference to those suffering domestic abuse and violence. The right to paid time off from work to access this support, will make a real difference to women’s lives,”she said.
Since the onset of Covid-19, Irish domestic violence services have reported a sharp increase in the number of women and children seeking support, and globally there is a rise in reports of domestic violence against women. Many are being forced to isolate at home with their abusers, at the same time that domestic violence services are being disrupted.
Unions want Government action, and the provision of appropriate resources, to prioritise the safety of women and children as Ireland emerges from the Covid-19 crisis.
“This can’t become a protracted process. What’s needed now is a process that involves all stakeholders. We call on Government to commence engagement of designing this scheme as a matter of urgency,” she said.
For more information on domestic violence click HERE.
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