Wales

Domestic abuse: Call for paid leave for victims

Domestic violence graphic Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Neath Port Talbot council and the Welsh Government already give paid leave to domestic abuse victims

Public sector staff experiencing domestic abuse should be entitled to paid leave, the Welsh Government has said.

Some public bodies already offer paid leave for their staff, but there are calls to make it an explicit commitment.

The Welsh Government and Neath Port Talbot council have already introduced paid leave for victims.

Chief Whip Jane Hutt has urged other councils to follow Neath Port Talbot.

Image caption Jane Hutt said paid leave was "essential" for supporting victims of domestic abuse at work

Ms Hutt, who is responsible for domestic abuse policy in the Welsh Government, said: "Survivors of domestic abuse can be faced with a range of practical concerns from the need for medical, legal or financial advice, to arranging child care or alternative accommodation.

"Paid leave is an essential part of supporting affected staff and offering reassurance they will not lose out while they navigate these difficult circumstances."

Rachel Williams, a domestic abuse survivor, campaigner and founder of Stand Up to Domestic Abuse, said the move would be a "step in the right direction".

She said: "Victims and survivors get punished in other ways so they don't need to be losing jobs or having to claim sickness benefits while they recover.

"It gives them some head space knowing they're going to be supported by an employer.

"It has a massive impact because if you're going through it or coming out of it your head is not in the right place to be going to work, so it's good for survivors and it's good for employers to recognise that their member of staff might not be putting in their best."

Image caption Domestic abuse survivor Rachel Williams said the move would be a "step in the right direction"

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