Domestic Violence Leave is statutory leave regulated by the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023.
A teacher, who is a victim of domestic violence, or a teacher who is assisting a relevant person is entitled to apply for Domestic Violence Leave to:
- seek medical attention;
- obtain services from a victim services organisation;
- obtain psychological or other professional counselling;
- relocate residence temporarily or permanently;
- obtain an order from a court under the Domestic Violence Act 2018;
- seek advice or assistance from a legal practitioner;
- seek assistance from the Garda Síochána; or
- seek or obtain any other relevant services.
A relevant person includes:
- the spouse or civil partner of the teacher;
- the cohabitant of the teacher;
- a person with whom the teacher is in an intimate relationship;
- a child of the teacher who has not attained full age; or
- a person who, in relation to the teacher, is a dependent person.
Domestic Violence Leave is a period of paid leave and consists of one or more school days, but must not exceed a maximum of 5 school days in a consecutive 12-month period.
Absence on Domestic Violence Leave for part of a school day constitutes an absence for a full school day.
The approval of the employer must be sought for Domestic Violence Leave.
A teacher who avails of Domestic Violence Leave is required to complete the Application Form located at Appendix A of circular letter 0059/2023.
The Application Form should be completed and submitted to the employer, as soon as is reasonably practicable prior to or after availing of such leave.
The employer must provide the teacher with a written acknowledgment confirming receipt of the leave application and their decision to approve/refuse the request. Where an application is refused, the employer must include the grounds for refusal.
The employer may appoint a substitute teacher, paid by the Paymaster for the duration of this leave.
Employee Assistance Service
The Employee Assistance Service is available as a supportive resource for school staff and provides advice on a range of issues including wellbeing, legal, financial, bereavement, conflict and mediation. Where appropriate, short-term counselling is available to school employees and their family members. A family member includes a spouse, civil partner or dependent, where the family member can be described as a person over the age of 18 and residing at the family home. The dedicated Freephone confidential helpline is 1800 411 057 and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Employers should be aware of the obligations set out in the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.
Contact details for support organisations and resources can be found at Appendix B of the circular.
For full details on Domestic Violence leave please refer to circular letter 0059/2023.