March 8, 2017 3:57 pm

Saskatchewan group PATHS urges job protection for victims of domestic violence

PATHS co-ordinator Jo-Ann Dusel is suggesting that there should be job security for victims of intimate partner violence.

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A Saskatchewan group is urging employers to protect the jobs of victims of domestic violence.

The Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan — otherwise known as PATHS — is in the middle of a three-year project.

Co-ordinator Jo-Ann Dusel is suggesting that there should be job security for victims of intimate partner violence.

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READ MORE: New Brunswick introduces legislation to curb intimate partner violence

Dusel would like to see paid leave if it’s needed and some onus on employers to respond if they know about a violent situation.

She is also calling for a law that would require employers to help workers with referrals and intervention.

The project is to submit a report to the provincial government with recommendations for occupational health and safety legislation.

The issue can come up in any workplace, Dusel says.

READ MORE: Canada’s family violence rates are staggering, says new report

In Ontario, legislation around employer responsibilities came about because of a murder-suicide at a workplace. Everyone knew about the situation, but didn’t know how to appropriately respond.

“That legislation was put in place because of some real-life tragedies in which individuals were murdered in the workplace due to a violent relationship,” she said.

The Ontario law says if employers are aware of domestic violence in a worker’s home, they need to take every precaution reasonable to keep the victim and the workplace safe.

Statistics Canada figures show Saskatchewan’s family violence rate was double the national average in 2015.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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