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

Plane crashes into Nelson supermarket parking lot

Pilot and passenger have minor injuries

Phase three presents new opportunities for Kootenay tourism

Message from MLA Michelle Mungall and MLA Katrine Conroy

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Leave your deets when dining: Restaurants taking personal info to trace COVID-19

Health officials say indoor dining presents a higher risk

Most Read