The province is launching another survey.

This time, it’s for strengthening workplace support for those who have experienced domestic violence. This includes giving those who’ve had traumatic domestic experiences space for a leave should they need it.

The online questionnaire is available now until October 8th.

“Domestic and sexual violence disproportionately impacts women and girls, often with devastating and long-lasting effects. Our government is prioritizing the safety and economic security for women and families, and that means looking at opportunities to strengthen protections for everyone in the workplace,” Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity Mitzi Dean said.

“We want to hear from a diverse range of voices, be it businesses, communities, advocacy groups and individual British Columbians, on what government can do to ensure workplace support is there for people when they need it most. I’m looking forward to exploring options on helping rebuild people’s lives after violence.”

The public consultation was launched by Dean and Minister of Labour Harry Bains. The province says the results of the consultation will help improve the Employment Standards Act.

BC doesn’t offer paid leave for those who have been subject to domestic or sexual violence. The province says Dean and Bains will make recommendations to cabinet this fall based on the results of the consultation.

The provincial government says this step follows recent changes to employment standards that provide job-protected, unpaid leave for those trying to escape domestic violence.

The act provides up to 10 days per calendar year of unpaid leave, as well as up to an extra 15 consecutive weeks of unpaid leave. According to the province, this will help people take the time they need to go to medical appointments, look for a new home and get their feet on the ground again without worrying about losing their job.

Before the new changes, employees could take time off only if their employer agreed to the leave.

“Domestic and sexual violence are deeply traumatizing, violent crimes. For most people who are targeted in these ways, the road ahead may be the most difficult they will encounter,” executive director at Ending Violence Association of BC Tracy Porteous said.
“Being hurt in this way may require survivors to seek medical attention, or time to talk with police or loved ones. It is our hope that we will join together as employers, colleagues, family and friends, to provide people with the support they need.”

To participate in the survey, follow this link (https://engage.gov.bc.ca/domesticviolenceleave).