All public sector organisations in Wales are being encouraged by the Welsh Government to offer paid leave for victims of domestic abuse.
Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government Hannah Blythyn has written to all devolved public services to highlight a joint statement by the Workforce Partnership Council which supports paid leave for members of public sector staff experiencing domestic abuse.
The joint statement recognises the profound impact domestic abuse can have and asks devolved public service organisations to make an explicit commitment in their special leave or domestic abuse policies to provide paid leave for staff experiencing domestic abuse.
The Welsh Government and Neath Port Talbot Council have already introduced paid leave for victims of domestic abuse. Trade unions have promoted this approach and produced practical guidance, including the GMB’s Work to Stop Domestic Abuse Workplace Policy and UNISON’s Domestic violence and abuse: a trade union issue – A UNISON guide.
Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government Hannah Blythyn, who chairs the Workforce Partnership Council said:
Many organisations already offer paid leave to staff experiencing domestic abuse but we want to encourage all public service organisations in Wales to commit to incorporating this in their policies.
With your help, we can reassure members of staff in public services that whatever other issues they are dealing with, fear of loss of pay and the financial challenges this brings will not be one of them.
Deputy Minister and Chief Whip Jane Hutt, who is responsible for domestic abuse policy in the Welsh Government, has also written to local authorities encouraging them to follow Neath Port Talbot Council’s lead.
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.
The Workforce Partnership Council’s (WPC) joint statement on paid leave for staff experiencing domestic violence states:
- “The WPC believes that such policies provide survivors with peace of mind, support and gives them vital reassurance that they will not be financially penalised as they deal with the effects of domestic abuse.
- “The WPC recommends devolved public service organisations in Wales commit to workplace policies that offer a flexible and sympathetic approach to staff experiencing domestic abuse.”