MSP calls for paid leave for victims of domestic abuse

Gillian Martin MSP
Gillian Martin MSP

A call has been made for victims of domestic abuse should be given the right to paid leave from work in order to secure safe accommodation.

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin put forward the resolution to delegates at the SNP’s Autumn conference.

Ms Martin was seconded by Cunninghame South MSP Ruth Maguire.

It follows the introduction of domestic abuse leave in New Zealand in addition to entitlements to annual leave and sick leave.

The move allows victims time to leave a violent partner and find a safe place to live.

Earlier this year, the Scottish Parliament pass the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill, which makes psychological abuse and coercive control in the home a criminal offence.

Commenting, SNP MSP Gillian Martin said: “Domestic abuse can have a horrific and long-lasting impact on victims and their children, and it is important we do all we can to end it.

“The Scottish Government has taken steps to strengthen the protections for victims, but we should always look to international best practice to see where we can do more.

“The introduction in New Zealand of paid leave for victims is a radical approach to helping victims get to safety – and we want to take the same approach in Scotland.

“If the UK government are unwilling to introduce a similar right, they should devolve powers over employment so we can take this step ourselves.”