23rd November 2023
The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023, enacted on 4 April 2023, includes a statutory paid leave provision to support workers who are victims of domestic violence, or who are providing support to a “relevant person” who is experiencing domestic violence.
INTO notes the publication of circular 59/2023 by the Department of Education yesterday, which sets out the terms of this leave provision for teachers. This leave is available to any teacher who is experiencing domestic violence, or who is providing support another relevant person who is experiencing domestic violence. A relevant person for whom this leave may be taken is defined in the circular.
Some of the key provisions in the circular include:
- Up to five school days of Domestic Violence Leave in a consecutive twelve month period is available;
- The leave may be taken in order to access relevant medical, legal, or other support services, or in order to relocate residences;
- A list of support services available is contained in appendix B. Although not an exhaustive list it may be of assistance to those who are victims of domestic violence, or are providing support to victims of domestic violence;
- This leave is fully paid and substitutable.
Parental Leave extended to parents of all children up to age sixteen
Under the terms of circular 54/2019, twenty-six weeks of Parental Leave has been available to parents of children up to the age of thirteen, or the age of sixteen for a child with a long-term illness of disability.
In recent weeks, the INTO made representations to the Department of Education, seeking to have Parental Leave made available to parents of all children up to the age of sixteen, in line with an amendment to the Parental Leave scheme in the civil service.
On 20 November 2023, the DE published Information Note TC/IN 10/2023, which extends access to Parental Leave to all parents of children up to age sixteen from 8 January 2024.
New circular on Force Majeure and Illness in Family Leave
Circular 58/2023 was recently published by the DE. This circular sets out the provisions for Force Majeure and Illness in Family leave. Members should note that circular 58/2023 does not reduce the overall provision to leave for teachers who need to support a family member.
INTO has published FAQs in our Leave Estimator to assist members in understanding the distinction between Force Majeure and Illness in Family Leave.