Ibec says it is not seeking proof in domestic violence cases

The executive director of Ibec, Maeve McElwee, has denied that the organisation which represents employers will be seeking “proof” of domestic violence from staff seeking leave
Ibec says it is not seeking proof in domestic violence cases

Vivienne Clarke

The executive director of Ibec, Maeve McElwee, has denied that the organisation which represents employers will be seeking “proof” of domestic violence from staff seeking leave.

Ms McElwee told RTÉ radio’s News at One that it was really important that Ibec’s submission to the Government was viewed in a wider context.

Ibec was not seeking proof, it was looking for clear understanding that if statutory leave was introduced for domestic violence situations then that would put statutory and legal obligations on employers.

We want guidance on how to manage these obligations

“We want guidance on how to manage these obligations," Ibec were not seeking "proof" of domestic violence, she said.

Ibec fully recognised the challenges posed by domestic violence in society and the impact on the workplace. Mc McElwee acknowledged that Ibec had raised the issue of proof in its submission, but from the perspective of how would an employer ask for documentation to fulfil their statutory obligations.

They did not perceive leave in domestic violence cases as an abuse of the system, she said.

“We are looking for clarity and understanding of how we manage these obligations.”

If leave in cases of domestic violence was a statutory obligation then employers would have a legal responsibility with regard to the handling of documents and data protection. This was not a matter for employers, it was for the Government to decide what the statutory proof will be, she said.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can contact Women’s Aid (24-hour freephone helpline at 1800 341 900, email helpline@womensaid.ie) or Men’s Aid Ireland (confidential helpline at 01 554 3811, email hello@mensaid.ie) for support and information. 

Safe Ireland also outlines a number of local services and helplines at safeireland.ie/get-help/where-to-find-help/. In the case of an emergency, always dial 999/112. 

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