The majority of Canadian companies — particularly those in finance, insurance, food services, retail and high tech — have had to protect an employee who’s a victim of domestic violence.

These are the findings of a new Conference Board of Canada survey.

The overwhelming majority (71 per cent) of polled employers say they’ve had to protect a victim of domestic abuse.

Also, 63 per cent of employers have introduced a domestic violence policy either as a stand-alone measure or as part of a broader workplace policy.

The survey reveals that employees working in sectors such as finance, insurance, food services and retail are most likely to require domestic violence support (82 per cent).

These are closely followed by employees working in high technology, professional scientific and technical services, utilities, communications and telecommunications (80 per cent).

The report notes that violence at home can cause workplace productivity declines, higher absenteeism and, in some cases, it can threaten the safety of co-workers.

Domestic abuse also increases the risk for physical and psychological violence at work.

The report recommends a number of workplace measures to counter these effects, such as training employees and managers, providing follow-up support for victims and offering access to employee and family assistance programs.

About 3,300 women in Canada escape their homes on any given night due to domestic violence, according to the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

Nov. 25 is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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