British Columbia is tabling legislation that would grant up to five days of paid leave for workers affected by domestic or sexual violence.
The leave would also apply to parents of a child or dependant who has been impacted by that type of violence.
The legislation would amend the provincial Employment Standards Act, which last year was updated to provide 10 days of unpaid, job-protected leave for employees affected by domestic or sexual violence. If the new amendments are passed, half of that leave time will be paid.
The province said the paid leave is meant to help employees attend medical, counselling or other appointments, look for a new home or school for their children and rebuild their lives without worrying about losing income while they’re off work.
“People facing domestic or sexual violence need far more supports to help them gain control of their lives than what was previously available in our province,” said Harry Bains, the province’s minister of labour, in a press release. “We consulted broadly, we listened to what people said and we’re making another important step to add to existing supports that will make a real difference in a person’s life when they need it the most.”
The amendments were based on feedback from more than 6,200 British Columbians and input from consultation with employers, business associations and employee associations.