Bank of Ireland introduces domestic abuse leave policy

Policy introduces a range of support for Bank of Ireland colleagues who may be experiencing domestic abuse.

Bank of Ireland has introduced a Domestic Abuse Leave Policy that provides 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.

“Domestic abuse is a pervasive issue that is not confined by gender, socio-economic background, age, ethnicity, race, sexuality, religion or disability”

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.

The cost of domestic abuse

“At Bank of Ireland, we are committed to creating a culture and work environment that is safe and supportive for all colleagues,” said Bank of Ireland chief people officer Matt Elliott. “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. 

“Domestic abuse is a pervasive issue that is not confined by gender, socio-economic background, age, ethnicity, race, sexuality, religion or disability. It can take place in all different forms of adult intimate relationships, including abuse of women by men, abuse of men by women and abuse within homosexual relationships. The Bank is committed to supporting all of our colleagues, taking into account the individuals’ unique circumstances and challenges they face.”

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. 

“Women’s Aid commends Bank of Ireland for this important internal policy,” said Women’s Aid CEO Sarah Benson.

“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.”

Main image at top: Head of Group Employee Relations at Bank of Ireland Joanne Healy with chief people officer Matt Elliott

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.