Domestic violence leave in force from 27 November

Last updated: November 21st, 2023

First published: November 21st 2023
Last updated: November 21st 2023

The Government recently confirmed that domestic violence leave will come into effect on 27 November 2023.

How much domestic violence leave are employees entitled to?

Employees are entitled to take to up to five days’ paid leave in a 12-month period. There is no requirement for employees to have completed a minimum level of service to claim their entitlement to domestic violence leave.

How much pay do employees receive while on domestic violence leave?

Employees are entitled to their full rate of pay while on domestic violence leave. The statutory instrument bringing the leave into effect should include further details on what constitutes the employee’s full rate of pay.

Domestic violence leave policy considerations

The Government has collaborated with Women’s Aid to provide guidance and practical supports to employers seeking to prepare to implement this latest employee entitlement.

A Guidance Note and Template Policy are available on a new website which are designed to help employers put an appropriate domestic violence leave policy in place for their workplace.

The Guidance Note is useful as it lets employers know what is mandatory under the legislation and also outlines certain other discretionary measures that organisations may want to consider putting in place.

Preparing for domestic violence leave

As the lead in time is only one week, employers may need to seek expert advice if they are unclear on what their new statutory obligations are in respect of domestic violence leave.

The following steps should ensure that your organisation is ready for any employee queries in this regard.

  • Review the Template Policy and Guidance Notes on the website.
  • Consider how to protect employee privacy and confidentiality.
  • Consider who might be the best person to act as a designated person.
  • Develop a communications plan to inform employees of their new rights, raise awareness and confirm how victims’ disclosures will be kept confidential.
  • Consider what training requirements will be needed for line managers.
  • Consider the impact of this new right on existing HR policies around health and safety, leave entitlements, working from home, confidentiality and employee welfare.

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