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Unifor urges Nova Scotia to pass domestic violence leave

March 1, 2018

HALIFAX – Unifor is urging all members of the Nova Scotia legislature to pass an NDP private member’s bill that will ensure paid leave for victims of domestic violence.

“Unifor has made protected leave for victims of domestic violence a priority at many collective bargaining tables and in our political activism work across the country,” said Lana Payne, Atlantic Regional Director. “We are pleased the NDP has tabled this important bill and we strongly encourage the other parties understand that job protection and paid leave will remove a major barrier for women escaping domestic and intimate partner violence.”

According to a study done by Western University researchers, 80% of Domestic Violence victims report that their work performance was negatively affected. Absenteeism and poor work performance can leave victims vulnerable to discipline and even job loss.

“When I was in that situation, I left with the clothes on my back and I missed work for medical and court appointments, the last thing women facing domestic violence should be worried about is losing their job or losing pay,” said Koren Beaman, Unifor Woman's Advocate, MWF Local 1, Halifax Shipyard, who will be in Province House when the NDP bill is presented today.

“If New Brunswick, Manitoba, Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan and the federal government can make this happen, don’t the women of Nova Scotia deserve the same protected leave and support when fleeing or living in a violent situation?” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “I call on all Nova Scotia political parties to support this; it is the right thing to do.”

Paid Domestic Violence Leave gives employees job protection and financial support to seek lives free of violence. Unifor is committed to addressing violence against women at the bargaining table and has negotiated to have more than 350 women’s advocates in workplaces across Canada as well as paid domestic violence leave.

For more information, please contact Unifor Atlantic Communications representative Natalie Clancy: Natalie.Clancy@unifor.org or (902) 478-9283 (cell).