It’s deeply troubling that some Saskatchewan employers view paid days off for victims of domestic violence as a deterrent to hiring women. This is unacceptable considering its often overwhelming physical & psychological toll, not only on victims and their families, but on society as a whole. Domestic violence is an issue we need to combat together by taking action at all levels. As individuals, neighbors, friends, family, communities, government, and even employers, we must all work together to give victims a voice and to end domestic violence. We need to enhance primary prevention and intervention strategies to stop violence before it occurs, as well as ensure we have the necessary supports in place for victims. We recognize 10 unpaid days off is a move in the right direction towards supporting victims, and we hope it is only a first step.
Read the CBC article here: Sask. employers fear paid days off for victims of violence could lead to hiring fewer women
Short-term paid leave of up to 10 days is important to ensure victims of violence can take measures to cope with the consequences of, or attempt to escape from, violent situations without facing immediate economic hardship for themselves and their dependents.
The opportunity to access unpaid leave for a longer period would provide crucial job protection to those who need more time to attempt a transition out of violent relationships or situations, for example, the opportunity to move from their current residence to transition housing or find new permanent living arrangements.
In addition to employment leaves, legislation should be amended to require employers to make reasonable accommodation at work for victims of domestic and interpersonal violence (for example around place of work, work hours, and scheduling). All workplaces should be required to have policies around domestic and interpersonal violence.
Changes to labour and workplace legislation are welcome and urgently required, but these legislative changes should be part of a broader and comprehensive strategy around domestic and interpersonal violence, including education, prevention, enhanced services for victims and families.
The government should consult closely with and seek the input of experts, advocates and service providers to ensure that strategies meet the needs of victims.