SFL calls for adoption of Bill 605 to give survivors of domestic violence paid leave




November 7, 2017


SFL calls for adoption of Bill 605 to give survivors of domestic violence paid leave


Today, the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) is calling for the adoption of a private member’s bill that would see necessary supports put into place for survivors of domestic violence, including paid leave.


“We know from national and provincial studies that domestic violence follows survivors to the workplace. One of the many ways domestic violence impacts work is survivors may delay or abandon plans to flee their abuser if it could result in losing their job,” said Lori Johb, Secretary-Treasurer of the SFL and Chair of the SFL’s Women’s Committee, “it breaks my heart that survivors in Saskatchewan must choose between protecting themselves and their children, and keeping their livelihood. We are calling for the adoption of Bill 605 so that survivors can have access to paid leave from work,” she added.


If passed, the bill will allow survivors of domestic violence to take paid and unpaid leaves from work. Such leave can be taken to seek medical attention for the victim or their child, to obtain services from a victim services organization, to obtain counselling, to relocate, and to seek legal or law enforcement assistance.


The bill also requires accommodation by employers to protect workers if an employer becomes aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, that domestic violence that would likely expose a worker to physical injury may occur in a workplace.


“Earlier this year we supported the provincial government in allowing survivors to break rental leases so they could get to safety,” said Johb, “now, it’s time to take the next step by allowing paid leave from work. If Bill 605 is adopted, Saskatchewan will be one of the leaders in Canada on supporting survivors,” she added.


Saskatchewan has the highest rates of domestic violence by intimate partners amongst all Canadian provinces, and survivors of domestic violence are often forced to leave their homes quickly to escape dangerous situations. Furthermore, financial stability and a supportive work environment are vital for survivors of domestic violence.


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For additional information, contact:


Kent Peterson

Strategic Advisor

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour

1 (306) 570-1855
e: k.peterson@sfl.sk.ca

Saskatchewan's Labour Movement: the folks who brought you the constitutional right to strike!