A bid to introduce ‘Safe Leave’ for council staff who suffer domestic violence in North Ayrshire was approved last week.

SNP Cllr Anthea Dickson and Labour Cllr Jim Montgomerie submitted a motion asking council to follow the example of New Zealand’s world leading Victims’ Protection Bill which requires employers to give victims of domestic violence up to 10 days leave from work, separate from annual leave and sick leave entitlements.

Council officers will now investigate how such a policy might best be managed, establish that it indeed is wanted by staff affected by Domestic Abuse, and determine how much it might cost after a similar motion was recently passed at South Ayrshire Council.

Cllr Dickson said: “Such a policy would assist victims to leave their partners, find new homes and help protect themselves and any dependent children. We wish to support those experiencing the trauma of domestic abuse and we can directly help those who work here.”

Cllr Montgomerie said: “When an abused partner decides to leave, they need help at that time to find safety for themselves and their family as quickly as possible.

“Financial insecurities often prevent victims from leaving. If we can reduce the stumbling block oflosing pay to straighten out the home life, then I think we should do so.

Councillor Dickson continued: “This move will bring greater security at a time of stress and insecurity for these unfortunate victims.”