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

Researchers at UFV looking into effects of pandemic on activity and mental health

Survey is online now to gather data from people of all backgrounds on physical activity changes

Cyrus Centre takes Easter dinner on the road for youth

Centres in Abbotsford and Chilliwack preparing to deliver meals to their youth and families

Abbotsford prison has confirmed COVID-19 case

Pacific Regional Treatment Centre is the third prison in B.C. in a week to confirm case

Fraser Valley Bandits hoping to pack punch with Jabs

Abbotsford-based CEBL team signs veteran guard Jabs Newby

UPDATED: Mission Institution has highest number of positive results for COVID-19

14 inmates test positive for coronavirus, more than any other federal prison in Canada

COVID-19 death toll reaches 50 in B.C., while daily case count steadies

B.C. records 34 new cases in the province, bringing total active confirmed cases to 462

Cancellations of plant orders prompt advent of pop-up garden shops

A Langley nursery is partnering with local eateries to sell 40 acres of veggie plants and flowers

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

Reality TV show about bodybuilders still filming in Okanagan, amid COVID-19

Five bodybuilders from across the country flew to Kelowna to move into a house for a reality TV show

B.C.’s top doctor details prescription for safe long weekend

Yes, it includes hosting an online cooking show

BC SPCA seeks help for abandoned German shepherd puppies

Donations have ‘petered out’ as doors are closed due to COVID-19

Most Read