B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. government proposes paid leave for domestic abuse, sexual violence victims

Survey says job-protected unpaid leave isn’t enough

The province should require employers to offer up to five days of paid leave for people recovering from domestic or sexual violence in addition to the current unpaid provisions, B.C. residents have told the province in a survey.

Labour Minister Harry Bains released the survey Tuesday, showing that 96 per cent of respondents thought paid leave was an important option to add to legislation. Bains introduced amendments to the Employment Standards Act to add the paid leave option for employees and their specified family members.

The act currently provides that people dealing with domestic or sexual violence may take up to 10 non-consecutive unpaid days and 15 consecutive weeks of unpaid leave with their job protected.

The B.C. Liberal opposition quickly endorsed the change.

“This will help people who have faced domestic or sexual violence by giving them the space to rebuild their lives,” Bains told the B.C. legislature. “This may mean getting medical support, psychological support. It could mean they have the time necessary to find a new place to live or a new school for their children, without sacrificing their job or their pay.”

RELATED: Wilkinson under fire for characterizing domestic violence as ‘a tough marriage’

RELATED: B.C. NDP raises minimum working age from 12 to 16

RELATED: B.C. unions expect gains from labour code changes

The labour ministry says B.C. and Alberta are the only provinces in Canada that do not require employers to offer paid leave. Others offer between two and five days.

The survey was conducted from Aug. 30 to Oct. 8, 2019, with more than 6,000 surveys and written responses received. Survey respondents were 81 per cent women, and four per cent were employers. Adding paid leave was supported by 94 per cent of employees and 83 per cent of employers.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Claiming she has COVID-19, stranger coughs in Cloverdale woman’s face

Clayton Heights woman will now self-isolate for the next two weeks

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

APRIL 2: Special-needs families ‘in crisis mode,’ stay-home message to be amplified

Quarantined Surrey mom say pandemic has put special-needs families in ‘crisis mode’

Cloverdale’s Christine Williamson shares her family’s challenges, strengths

Police watchdog finds cops blameless for deaths in 2019 Surrey hostage-taking

Woman was killed as ERT officers fired on man holding a knife to her throat and ‘what appeared to be’ a gun in his hand

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

COVID-19 has been impacting Canadian economy since January

But full effects of pandemic won’t be known for months

Doctors trained abroad want to join front lines of COVID-19 fight in Canada

B.C. is looking to allow internationally trained doctors to work under the supervision of attending physicians

Fake test kits and other COVID online scams play on public anxiety: fraud centre

Vancouver has seen a spike in commercial property crimes, with offices and stores empty because of COVID-19

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Feds amplify stay-home message as cost of financial aid to Canadians mounts

Liberals have unveiled around $200B in direct financial aid and tax deferrals

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

World COVID-19 update: Six million U.S. jobless claims; Russia sends medical aid to U.S.

Comprehensive update with COVID-19 news from around the world

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Most Read