• April 13, 2024
 Petition for paid leave for victims of domestic abuse

Petition for paid leave for victims of domestic abuse

Petition to provide a minimum of 10 days statutory paid leave for victims of domestic abuse.

Nailah Kausar, a family solicitor at the National Youth Advocacy Service has created a petition with the aim of providing a minimum of 10 days statutory paid leave for victims of domestic abuse.

Nailah, who has been qualified for seven years, now only undertakes private children law work and said:

“Sadly, in my assessment, domestic abuse is almost always a feature of the cases that we deal with in some form or way.

My experience over the years has naturally involved representing adults (and now children) who have been subjected/exposed to domestic violence.”

Nailah has seen first hand the traumatic impact abuse has on victims.

Other jurisdictions have brought in such provisions allowing for paid leave for a period of time following domestic abuse. More recently and much closer to home, Ireland have announced that they will be providing full time pay as part of their new domestic violence leave measures.

After conducting some research, Nailah discovered that England and Wales did not have the same or similar statutory entitlement.

Currently there are employers both nationally and internationally who are bringing in paid leave and other domestic violence programmes of assistance, such as Kellogg’s and Nationwide.

Last week Kellogg’s announced a new domestic abuse policy to support their workers, including an extra 10 days paid leave as well as cash help for an initial legal support meeting. Kellogg’s are also providing a one-off payment to set up a bank account, or other activity proviing employees who are suffering domestic abuse with financial security.

Whilst this is “fabulous”, Nailah comments that it is a discretionary contractual cause. What really is required is an entitlement under statute.

Nailah is hopeful that this petition will be the starting point of recognition and further developments in this area.  As part of my research, I came across that in 2018 at the annual Labour conference there was talks of bringing provisions in but nothing has happened since by any Political party

The petition was published on 13th September 2023 and will remail open for signatures for 6 months (until 13th March 2024).  10,000 signatories means that Nailah will get a response from the Government and if it reaches 100,000 this petition will be debated at the House of Commons.

This petition and supporting those who have experienced domestic abuse is important. The  National Centre for Domestic Violence reported that over 1.5 million domestic abuse related incidents were reported to the police in year ending March 2022.  This makes up just over 17% of all reported crimes.  The Office for National Statistics shows that 1 in 20 adults experienced domestic abuse (in the same year).

If you would like to support Nailah and her petition to bring about change, and support those who have been impacted by Domestic Violence, you can sign the petition here.

Rebecca Morgan, Editor

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