People in British Columbia have an opportunity to voice their views on strengthening support for working people who have been subjected to domestic or sexual violence.
An online questionnaire about possible paid leave is open for public feedback until Oct. 8, 2019. Interested groups can make written submissions.
The consultation will help inform further improvements to the Employment Standards Act.
B.C. and Alberta are the only two provinces in Canada that do not offer paid leave for people who have been subjected to domestic or sexual violence.
The consultation will inform the recommendations that will be made to cabinet in fall 2019. This would be the next step following recent changes to employment standards that, for the first time, provide job-protected, unpaid leave for people trying to escape domestic or sexual violence.
The act provides up to 10 days per calendar year of unpaid leave, as well as up to an extra 15 consecutive weeks of unpaid leave. These provisions help people take the time needed to go to medical appointments, look for a new home and restore their lives without having to worry about losing their job. Before the changes to the act, workers could take time from their job only if their employer agreed to the leave.
Improving fairness for workers and ensuring balance in workplaces is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
To participate in this engagement, visit Domestic Violence Leave.
All questions on the feedback form are voluntary and will be confidential. All responses will be compiled and analyzed as a group. Responses will not be identified by individual.
Facts about sexual and domestic violence
- Women are over seven times more likely to report sexual assault than men.
- Young women (aged 15 to 24 years) are more likely to report sexual assaults than any other age group.
- The majority (87%) of victims of sexual assaults reported to police are female, particularly young women and girls.
- One in four (26%) of these sexual assault victims were children aged 13 years and younger.
- This is more than four times greater than the proportion of child victims who reported physical assault to police (6%).
- About two-thirds of domestic violence victims in Canada are women.
- 82% of working people who have been subjected to domestic violence reported it interfering with work performance.
- Three to five children in every classroom are exposed to domestic violence.
- Indigenous women are 3.5 times more likely than non‐Indigenous women to experience violence. The homicide rate is seven times higher.
- Of self-reported incidents of sexualized violence, only one in five completes the court process, and less than half are convicted.
- LBGBTQ2S+ people are more than twice as likely to be victims of violence than their heterosexual counterparts.
- In Canada, most provinces and the federal government require employers to provide paid leave for victims of domestic or sexual violence ranging from two to five days.