Tesco introduces five days of paid leave for victims of domestic violence, becoming the first major Irish grocery store to do so.

March 7, 2023

Tesco introduces five days of paid leave for victims of domestic violence, becoming the first major Irish grocery store to do so.

Tesco Ireland will be the first major Irish grocery store to offer this crucial support for its 13,000 employees by implementing five days of paid leave for victims of domestic abuse.


Tesco has updated its “Time Off Policy” as of today to incorporate the new provision for domestic abuse victims. For coworkers who need to use this leave, there will be no minimum service requirements, and it can be used retroactively or in advance, in full days or half days, based on their particular needs.


The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2022, which was first presented by the government last year and is currently being finalised as it moves through the Oireachtas, already includes the new provision. Tesco Ireland has already begun implementing the domestic abuse leave option even though the Bill is anticipated to become law later this year.


One important aspect of this paid leave is that it will be documented with a unique absence code to protect the colleague’s privacy and, if used, will not count towards the colleague’s total absence percentage because it is handled differently from sick leave.


The fact that Tesco’s new leave policy acknowledges the trauma and difficulty of disclosing domestic abuse means that coworkers are not required to provide evidence of domestic abuse in order to take this leave, which is perhaps one of the policy’s most significant features.

CEO of Tesco Ireland, Natasha Adams, emphasised the importance of offering paid leave to employees who are the victims of domestic violence.

“We will advance the implementation of the new five-day paid leave option for victims of domestic abuse with immediate effect. Paid leave is a crucial component of escaping domestic abuse because victims frequently need to prepare for separation by going to counselling, support groups, and legal services; looking for new housing; and making the required childcare arrangements. It is not always possible to make these preparations during business hours. It is crucial that victims believe their job and financial independence are protected throughout this incredibly difficult process.

Despite being introduced in advance of International Women’s Day, we fully understand that this is a problem that impacts all kinds of relationships and isn’t just a problem for women. We are dedicated to assisting our coworkers while taking into account their unique situations and difficulties. We are proud to contribute to the response of the entire community as one of the largest private sector employers in the nation, she added.

Tesco and Safe Ireland have been working together to promote the national helpline on their till papers since 2020. CEO of Safe Ireland, Mary McDermott, said, “We applaud Tesco for taking the initiative to provide paid domestic abuse leave for their workers. We are aware that this paid, confidential leave serves as an important example of how abuse victims nationally should be supported.

Additionally, Tesco is updating its bereavement leave policy to include early pregnancy loss leave, which will be accessible to coworkers, their partners, and surrogate parents.

Tesco’s five days of paid leave for domestic abuse victims is just one of a number of steps the company has taken to advance workplace equity and assist employees with problems that might be affecting their employment. To ensure inclusivity and foster a healthier work environment, Tesco constantly engages with employees across the organisation and broadens and apts workplace policies.