Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
The government of Manitoba has amended the province’s Employment Standards Code to allow victims of domestic violence to have leave from work – both paid and unpaid – with guaranteed job security during time off.
First proposed publicly at the Manitoba legislature late in 2015 and introduced officially as Bill 8 less than two weeks later, The Employment Standards Code Amendment Act (leave for Victims of Domestic Violence, Leave for Serious Injury or Illness and Extension of Compassionate Care Leave) grants domestic-violence victims up to five days of paid leave, five days of unpaid leave and up to 17 consecutive weeks of additional unpaid leave.
Employees who have been with a firm for at least 90 days and who claim to have suffered from domestic violence can use the time off for medical attention, victim services, counselling, relocation and/or legal assistance, according the legislation text available on the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba website.
Michelle Gawronsky, president of the Manitoba Government and general Employees’ Union, says she is “absolutely thrilled” that the bill has become law. “This will be a win all the way around for employers as much as employees.”
What is domestic abuse?
Women’s Aid defines domestic abuse, “as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer.”
Domestic violence under Ontario Law
“For the purposes of this Act, domestic violence means the following acts or omissions committed against an applicant, an applicant’s relative or any child:
- An assault that consists of the intentional application of force that causes the applicant to fear for his or her safety, but does not include any act committed in self-defence.
- An intentional or reckless act or omission that causes bodily harm or damage to property.
- An act or omission or threatened act or omission that causes the applicant to fear for his or her safety.
- Forced physical confinement, without lawful authority.
- Sexual assault, sexual exploitation or sexual molestation, or the threat of sexual assault, sexual exploitation or sexual molestation.
- A series of acts which collectively causes the applicant to fear for his or her safety, including following, contacting, communicating with, observing or recording any person.”
Ensure your company has a domestic-violence policy and procedure. The province of Manitoba seems to be heading in the right direction. How is your province doing?
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.