Union Matters: Domestic Violence Leave

On this week’s podcast, we speak with NSGEU Employee Relations Officer Gina Boyd about the issue of domestic violence leave in Nova Scotia.

This spring, the provincial government introduced legislation that includes a provision for up to ten intermittent days of unpaid leave to allow victims of domestic abuse to seek out services and supports. However, in other countries, like New Zealand and the Philippines, and even other parts of Canada, domestic violence survivors are granted paid days off. Those paid days off can make a big difference to people living in abusive situations.

So while Nova Scotia’s proposed new legislation is a step in the right direction, it doesn’t go far enough for the women and workers of our province:

“This is predominantly a women’s issue: there are some men that are affected, but the largest portion, 91 per cent, are women,” Boyd says.

As a woman, I’m quite taken back by the government’s decision not to pay this intermittent leave, especially when there is paid leave in other provinces. I don’t believe that the workers of Nova Scotia or the women of Nova Scotia should be considered any less important or their safety needs should be any less significant than a woman from any other province in Canada.

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