Unifor urges Nova Scotia to pass domestic violence leave

Private member's bill goes before Nova Scotia legislature March 1
|employmentlawtoday.com|Last Updated: 03/01/2018
NS legislature
Province House, home of the Nova Scotia legislature. Google Maps

HALIFAX (CNW) -- Unifor is urging all members of the Nova Scotia legislature to pass an NDP private member's bill that will ensure paid leave for victims of domestic violence.

"Unifor has made protected leave for victims of domestic violence a priority at many collective bargaining tables and in our political activism work across the country," said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director, in a released statement. "We are pleased the NDP has tabled this important bill and we strongly encourage the other parties understand that job protection and paid leave will remove a major barrier for women escaping domestic and intimate partner violence."

According to a study done by Western University researchers, 80 per cent of domestic violence victims report that their work performance was negatively affected. Absenteeism and poor work performance can leave victims vulnerable to discipline and even job loss.

"When I was in that situation, I left with the clothes on my back and I missed work for medical and court appointments, the last thing women facing domestic violence should be worried about is losing their job or losing pay," said Koren Beaman, Unifor Woman's Advocate, MWF Local 1, Halifax Shipyard, who was in Province House when the NDP bill was presented March 1.

"If New BrunswickManitobaOntarioAlberta and Saskatchewan and the federal government can make this happen, don't the women of Nova Scotia deserve the same protected leave and support when fleeing or living in a violent situation?" said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "I call on all Nova Scotia political parties to support this; it is the right thing to do."

Paid domestic violence leave gives employees job protection and financial support to seek lives free of violence. Unifor is committed to addressing violence against women at the bargaining table and has negotiated to have more than 350 women's advocates in workplaces across Canada as well as paid domestic violence leave.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy.The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change.

SOURCE Unifor

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