More than 1/3 of workers in Canada have or will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and for more than half of those affected, the violence has followed them to work. We need to remove the stigma that domestic violence is a private matter.
The University of Western Ontario, in conjunction with the Canadian Labour Congress, produced and researched a pan-Canadian survey on domestic violence and the workplace. Its findings shed a light on the overwhelming need for support and interventions in the workplace.
“Over 80 percent of those who reported experiencing domestic violence reported that it negatively affected their work performance. Almost 9% indicated they had lost their job as a result. The impact of domestic violence is wide-ranging, 37% reported that their co-workers were also affected; co-workers were stressed or concerned about the abusive situation”.
We have a fundamental need to acquire language in our collective agreement that not only addresses the requirements to have paid leave but also protections from discipline and adverse actions because of domestic violence. Workplace policies must be relevant and accessible to all employees.