Domestic violence is often seen as a private matter, something to deal with behind closed doors and to be kept away from the workplace. This is rarely ever the case though, as domestic violence almost always makes its way into the workplace in some shape or form. It’s because of this that businesses and organizations need domestic violence policies, but why we also need to fight hard for domestic violence paid leave. Women experiencing abuse often need time off for a variety of reasons, whether it’s to find a safe place to live, get away from an abuser, attend court, visit a doctor, see the police to make statements, or appointments with a lawyer. Providing a supportive environment and time to do what is necessary will help both the employee and the employer.
Here are 5 good reasons why we need paid leave in the workplace for victims of domestic violence.
5 Reasons Why Businesses Should Support Paid Domestic Violence Leave
1. It Helps the Person Being Abused. One of the main reasons women feel unable to leave an abusive relationship of any kind is due to financial concerns. Having financial stability can make all the difference when it comes to getting necessary help and leaving a violent partner. Ensuring your employees are not only protected with an action plan at work, but also supported if they need to take time off work, can help make it easier for them to leave the relationship.
2. It Saves Money. It’s no secret that domestic violence costs businesses. It’s estimated that domestic violence costs Canadian employers almost $78 billion annually. Having paid leave available for victims of domestic violence will not only better support them in having necessary time away from work, but it will also provide them with a much-needed safety net and the resources required to leave an abusive relationship. In the long run, having paid domestic violence leave in place will help both those experiencing abuse as well as the employer and workplace.
3. More Productivity. Study after study shows that women experiencing domestic violence feel much less productive at work. It’s almost impossible to not let your personal life affect your work life, especially in such drastic and upsetting situations. Allowing necessary time off will help increase productivity in the long run.
4. Reduced Turnover. No one likes to have to constantly be searching for new employees. The hiring process is tiring, and not to mention, once you have a good employee, it’s hard thinking of them leaving. When you offer support to your employees, it makes them want to stay. A supportive workplace is a positive workplace and also a more productive workplace. When your employees know that they will be supported if they need to take time off work to deal with issues at home, it will create a more positive workplace where everyone enjoys coming to work and wants to work hard.
5. Happier Workplace. When you provide a supportive work setting, it makes all employees happier. There are many ways to foster a happy and supportive workplace, and having supports such as paid domestic violence leave in place is just one of them. Knowing they will be supported, especially during difficult life transitions or situations, can alleviate stress and trauma. It will make it easier to come to work knowing it is a safe haven that provides support, rather than a place where one needs to hide any issues. Bonus: Happier employees are also more productive employees!
Most importantly, supporting bills for paid leave for domestic violence is the right thing to do.
If you’re interested in finding out more about training options for your business or workplace, feel free to get in touch with us. We offer free online training as well as more in-depth training options.
If you think someone you know might be experiencing domestic violence, please reach out. You can reach up on the warning signs here.