On 1st April the new Domestic Violence – Victim’s Protection Bill comes into effect. This piece of legislation entitles employees affected by domestic violence to up to 10 days of paid domestic violence leave per year, in order to deal with the effects of domestic violence.
As with sick leave and bereavement leave, employees must have been employed for over six (6) months before the entitlement kicks in, and thereafter they are entitled to 10 days in each ensuing period of twelve (12) months. The Company does not pay out untaken domestic violence leave.
The legislation is light on detail as to what constitutes being “a person affected by domestic violence” or what proof may be requested by the employer, but it does state that the domestic violence does not have to have occurred during the term of employment.
The second part of the legislation provides an employee with the right to make a formal request for a flexible working arrangement for up to 2 months, for the purposes of assisting the employee to deal with the effects the domestic violence is having on them. The process for making a formal request and how the company deals with it will need to be determined in a company policy.
We encourage all businesses to be across these legislative changes and ensure they are accurately and appropriately communicated to employees.