Domestic Abuse Leave Policy introduced by Bank of Ireland

Matt Elliot CPO BOI and Joanne Healy Group Employee Relations BOI
Bank of Ireland Chief People Officer, Matt Elliott and Head of Group Employee Relations, Joanne Healy.

Bank of Ireland has introduced a Domestic Abuse Leave Policy providing a range of supports to colleagues who may be experiencing domestic abuse. 

Under the new policy, the Bank will provide both financial and non-financial support to colleagues who experience domestic abuse. This support can include paid leave and flexibility with the work environment or schedule. In emergency situations – where a colleague needs to immediately leave an abusive partner – the Bank will help through paid emergency hotel accommodation or a salary advance.

In partnership with Women’s Aid, Bank of Ireland is also rolling out training to colleagues to help recognise the symptoms of abuse, and provide guidance on how to take appropriate action. 

Matt Elliott, Chief People Officer, Bank of Ireland said: “At Bank of Ireland, we are committed to creating a culture and work environment that is safe and supportive for all colleagues. We recognise that tackling domestic abuse requires a whole of society response and as a large employer Bank of Ireland has an important part to play. ”

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Women’s Aid CEO Sarah Benson commented: “Women’s Aid commends Bank of Ireland for this important internal policy. We know that employers who implement policies and procedures for employees subjected to domestic abuse can contribute to reduced risk of victims/survivors giving up work, increased financial security and also feelings of solidarity and support at a time when they may feel completely isolated and alone. Our Training team looks forward to collaborating with the Bank to support the implementation of this excellent initiative.”

Domestic abuse can also cause financial difficulties, and the new policy will match colleagues experiencing abuse with a financial adviser where needed. This adviser can provide advice on issues including debt restructuring and safeguarding mechanisms for the colleague to help regain control of their finances.

The Domestic Abuse Policy is one of a number of progressive policies put in place by the Bank for its 9,000 colleagues. Other policy initiatives include fertility leave and supports, menopause supports, and a surrogacy support policy. 

Other external resources available include: 

  • The Women’s Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline is 1800 341 900. Information on Women’s Aid additional services are available at: www.womensaid.ie
  • Men’s Aid Ireland is the only dedicated support service in Ireland for male victims of domestic violence including coercive control. Men’s Aid provide a National Confidential Helpline (01- 5543811), https://www.mensaid.ie
  • Safe Ireland is the national social change agency working to eradicate domestic abuse and coercive control in Ireland: https://www.safeireland.ie/