Skip to main content

Domestic violence leave


Domestic violence leave can be availed of for a maximum of 5 days in any period of 12 consecutive months and can be taken as individual days or a block/blocks of days. An absence for part of a day is counted as one day for the purposes of domestic violence leave.

The purpose of the leave is to enable the officer who is a victim of domestic violence or abuse, or who is assisting a relevant person, to do any of the following:

  • seek medical attention
  • obtain services from a victim services organisation
  • obtain psychological or other professional counselling
  • relocate residence temporarily or permanently
  • obtain an order from a court under the Domestic Violence Act 2018
  • seek advice or assistance from a legal practitioner
  • seek assistance from An Garda Síochána.

During an absence on domestic violence leave, an officer is deemed for all purposes to be in employment.

Once an application is made for this leave type, the details will be treated in the strictest of confidence and are only accessible to the line manager, HR department and specific staff in HR Shared Services.

Where possible, officers who avail of domestic violence leave should notify their line manager of their intention to take the leave (for example, you have been or are supporting someone who has advance notice of a future court date or legal/scheduled appointment).

When leave is taken, the staff member should, as soon as is feasible, confirm to their manager that they have taken the leave and specify the dates on which it was taken.

In the event that your line manager is not available for an extended period to process the leave application, you may wish to contact your local HR unit in confidence and request that they submit the request on your behalf. Alternatively, the leave can be applied retrospectively on your manager’s return.


There is no minimum service requirement to avail of this leave type.

This leave can be availed of by an officer, or an officer who is supporting a ‘relevant person’, who has experienced or is currently experiencing domestic violence. A relevant person includes:

  • the spouse or civil partner of the employee
  • the cohabitant of the employee
  • a person with whom the employee is in an intimate relationship
  • a child of the employee who has not attained full age
  • a person who, in relation to the employee, is a dependent person


This leave is approved by line managers and can be processed on the HRMS record once line manager approval has been granted.

Supporting documentation

It is understood that supporting documents may be difficult to provide in certain circumstances. Therefore, supporting documentation will not be requested by line managers as a default.

However, the Civil Service reserves the right to request supporting documentation in certain circumstances where it is reasonable to do so (for example, if you or the individual you are supporting has advance notice of future court or legal appointments).

Supporting documents are not required by NSSO in order for this leave to be processed.


In order to ensure the safeguarding of any officer who may not have private access to their emails, all correspondence to an officer regarding their application for this leave type will refer to it only as ‘paid special leave’ rather than listing the specific purpose of the leave. This is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the officer.

How to apply

  • Complete the application form below
  • Forward the completed form to your line manager for approval.
  • Your line manager must raise a case for Special Leave on the CMS and attach the application form (details on how to raise a case on the CMS can be found here). In the event that you or your manager do not have access to the CMS, please forward the completed application to
  • The NSSO will contact you once your record has been updated to state that your request for Paid Special Leave has been approved and processed for the specified date.

Please note that for safeguarding reasons, the notification from the NSSO to advise that your leave record has been updated will not reference domestic violence leave.

Please visit the Special Leave page for further information in relation to the application process.

document type icon

Form - Domestic Violence Leave (Paid)


An eLearning course is now available via OneLearning for HR Managers, People Managers and colleagues, to assist in learning how to recognise the signs of domestic violence in the workplace, how to respond appropriately and sensitively and importantly, how to refer and signpost a colleague who may be impacted by domestic violence towards further advice and supports.

Useful links