Domestic abuse and gender based violence victims who work for Neath Port Talbot Council could get paid "Safe Leave"
Domestic abuse and gender based violence victims who work for Neath Port Talbot Council could get up to five days' paid "Safe Leave" if councillors approve a proposed new policy.
The policy will be discussed by if the authority's Personnel Committee today.
Under the proposed policy Council staff under pressure from gender based violence or domestic abuse would be able to take time off to get the help and support they need for themselves and their families.
If adopted, Neath Port Talbot Council's "Safe Leave" scheme would be one of the first of its kind in Europe and the UK. South Ayrshire Council implemented a Safe Leave policy earlier this year, the Scottish authority giving Neath Port Talbot valuable help and guidance over the scheme.
The proposal for Neath Port Talbot Council is that Safe Leave will be available to employees experiencing gender based violence or domestic abuse for reasons including but not limited to:
" Seeking Safe Housing
" Visiting legal advisors or support agencies for re-housing,
" To make alternative childcare arrangements, including meetings with schools, or other relevant appointments.
In addition to the proposed safe leave provision, managers may also receive requests for time off work from employees who are experiencing gender based violence or domestic abuse /violence to arrange appointments during the normal working day.
Such appointments might including attending medical appointments and counselling, attending legal proceedings or receiving legal advice, making alternative childcare arrangements and going to meetings with schools.
Cllr Doreen Jones, Neath Port Talbot Council's Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Equality said: "This is a very important issue. While someone may be smiling on the outside, on the inside they may be suffering and this could go some way towards helping some of our staff at a very difficult time."