WomanACT joined a press conference on Thursday September 28th in support of Bill 157, an Act to increase workplace protection for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
London West MPP Peggy Sattler’s Private Member’s Bill 26, Domestic and Sexual Violence Workplace Leave, Accommodation and Training Act, 2016 passed second reading in October 2016. On Thursday, NDP leader Andrea Horwath brought a new bill, Bill 157, Domestic and Sexual Violence Protection Act, 2017, for debate.
The new pill builds on the previous Private Member’s Bill and pushes for:
- Amending the Employment Standards Act (ESA) by requiring employers to provide leave to employees who have experienced DV or SV, or whose children have experienced DV or SV; This leave includes up to ten (10) days of paid leave, as well as 15 weeks of unpaid leave per calendar year.
- Including a provision that requires the paid portion of this leave to be covered by the Ontario government.
- Amending the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to require that employers provide mandatory training on DV and SV to all managers, supervisors and workers.
The violence that women experience at home often extends into the workplace. A 2014 study by the Canadian Labour Congress and Western University’s Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children found that of those workers who had experienced intimate partner violence, 82% reported that it had impacted their job performance and 10% reported that they were fired as a result of the impacts it had on their work. In addition, 42% of workers with experience of violence had disclosed it to someone at work. Access to income is a critical factor that can help women flee a violence relationship and maintain their safety and economic independence.
WomanACT supports Bill 157 because it recognizes the intersections between women’s safety and their employment and provides important resources and supports for survivors.