OTTAWA — Manitoba is the first jurisdiction in Canada where victims of domestic violence are allowed to take leave from the workplace.
Employers have expressed concern about the burden it places on them, but those behind the legislation, who want similar laws elsewhere, says it can help mitigate the high cost of domestic violence in the workplace.
Here are some numbers behind the story:
— A 2009 report from the federal Justice Department estimated the total economic impact of spousal violence on employers in Canada that year was about $78 million.
— A survey by the University of Western Ontario and the Canadian Labour Congress published in 2014, said about 34 per cent of respondents reported having experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetime and 35.4 per cent reported having at least one co-worker who they believed was a victim of domestic violence.
— Among those who reported experiencing domestic violence, nearly 82 per cent said it affected their work performance in a negative way, 38 per cent said it impacted their ability to get to their jobs and nine per cent said they had lost a job because of it.
— About 54 per cent of victims reported the domestic violence continued at or near their workplace, with about 41 per cent reporting abusive phone calls or text messages, nearly 21 per cent reporting being stalked or harassed near their workplace and 18 per cent reporting the abuser entered their place of employment.
— About 37 per cent of victims believed their own experience with domestic violence also affected their co-workers, with nearly 29 per cent reporting their colleagues were stressed or concerned about the abusive situation.
— The report was based on the results of an online survey, offered in both French and English, of 8,429 Canadians over the age of 15 from Dec. 6, 2013 to June 6, 2014.
Source: Can Work Be Safe When Home Isn't? Initial Findings of a Pan-Canadian Survey on Domestic Violence and the Workplace (2014)
The Canadian Press
©2016 The Canadian Press
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