IRVINE’S MSP has helped lead SNP calls for the UK government to give victims of domestic abuse the right to paid leave from work in order to secure safe accommodation.

The calls came out of the SNP Conference where a resolution co-sponsored by the SNP MSP for Cunninghame South, was passed.

Domestic abuse leave has already been introduced in New Zealand and gives victims time to leave a violent partner and find a safe place to live.

It is in addition to entitlements to annual leave and sick leave.

The Scottish Parliament this year passed the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill, which makes psychological abuse and coercive control in the home a criminal offence.

Ruth Maguire said: “The Scottish Government has taken steps to strengthen the protections for victims, but we should always look to international best practice to see where we can do more.

“If the UK government are unwilling to introduce a similar right, they should devolve powers over employment so we can take this step ourselves.”