The NSGEU is pleased the NDP is introducing legislation that will, if passed, amend the Labour Standards Code to ensure working people who experience domestic violence, intimate violence, and sexual violence will have the right to paid and unpaid leave from their employers in order to begin their recovery process. The leave will also be available to the employee if their child experiences domestic/intimate/sexual violence. We have been lobbying for this kind of legislation and are in full support of it.
Intimate partner violence is all too common in society. It can be cyclical and the victim can feel a great deal of shame. The violence can go on for a long period of time before the victim comes forward. This issue affects women disproportionately as women are most often the victims of domestic/intimate partner violence. As an employer and a union, we believe that we have a responsibility to do what we can to help people recover from this kind of violence and to give them time to stop the cycle. This takes support. As employers, we have a responsibility to provide our employees with this help.
We have been able to negotiate language with our own staff, IAMW Local 2797, and with the Elizabeth Fry Society that supports women who are victims of intimate partner violence and recognizes this important social issue. We understand first-hand how important it is and look forward to the day every Nova Scotian worker has the right to that support, can heal, and can stop the cycle of violence in their lives.
You can view the legislation here: https://nslegislature.ca/legislative-business/bills-statutes/bills/assembly-63-session-1/bill-73