Paid time off for victims of domestic violence, province promises

November 13, 2017
Article Source
Toronto Star

Victims of domestic violence will be allowed five paid days off work and a further five unpaid days as part of a revamp of provincial labour legislation, the Star has learned.

Despite initially proposing 10 days, as well as up to a further 15 weeks, all unpaid, the government has changed course and is now proposing that salary be continued for some of it.

"This amendment is the direct result of what we heard from advocates during the consultation process for Bill 148," said Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn.

"When domestic or sexual violence occurs, the last thing people and their families need to worry about is whether they will be able to take time off work. This amendment gives them that time, as well as the financial support they need."

In September, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath proposed a private member's bill that would provide 10 paid days off, with the province covering the cost.

Under the Liberal plan, employers would be responsible for pay over those five days, and sources say the government is negotiating with the federal government to have some portion of the 15 weeks off covered by Employment Insurance.

The amendments were prompted after hearing from advocates who said leave is needed so that women can meet with police, lawyers, arrange and attend counselling or seek medical care for themselves or their children.

As in other jurisdictions with similar leave provisions, employers will be able to request reasonable proof of what the time off was used for.

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