On April 28 we mark the World Day for Safety and Health at Work. As we recognize the importance of a safe employment environment and healthy workers, the impact of domestic violence must be both acknowledged and addressed as an occupational health and safety issue.
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.
While we might not all see it, racial discrimination definitely still exists in Canada, and the workplace is not immune to this type of discrimination. Whether it’s racist comments from a co-worker, or constantly being passed up on promotions due to race, there are many ways that racial discrimination can rear its head in the workplace. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to prevent racial discrimination in the workplace and ensure all employees are treated fairly and with respect. As an employee, it’s your duty to respect all your fellow co-workers.
This International Women’s Day, there are so many things you can do to support women, both in your own life as well as in the workplace. The day is all about celebrating women worldwide for their political, economic and social achievements, as well as constantly working toward bettering the lives of women, everywhere. Find out 10 simple things you can do to celebrate this important day of women.
Domestic violence is often seen as a “private” issue. Something that happens in the home or within private relationships. A concern that doesn’t affect others or extend beyond the walls of the home or reaches of the relationship. In reality though, domestic abuse in any form is a concern for all of us. It’s a serious issue that doesn’t just affect the person experiencing it. From close friends to family members to co-workers and even acquaintances, domestic violence is much further reaching than many of us even suspect.
The endeavour was a joint initiative and effort between numerous individuals at the County of Lambton who formed a committee to help roll-out the training to all County employees. Knowing how passionate these individuals are about the importance of this training, we reached out to see if they could share their thoughts. Here, one of the Committee members lets us know why they feel it is crucial that employees take training regarding a problem that is often seen as a ‘private family matter’ yet in reality often reaches far beyond into the workplace as well.
When workers are experiencing violence at home, the impacts are felt in the workplace. This is something for us to reflect upon as we enjoy our February holiday, Family Day.
As we have reported in the past, fully one third of Canadian workers experience domestic violence at some point in their lifetime. Work-related domestic violence can take many forms; for example, even before work hours, the perpetrator may disrupt the victim’s ability to get to work (either on time, or not at all) by hiding keys, physically restraining the victim, or refusing to care for children. During work, domestic violence often takes the form of harassment. Domestic violence impedes workers’ ability to get to work, it continues while they are in the workplace and not surprisingly, it has a negative impact on their ability to concentrate and be productive. Research on Canadian workers who are being abusive to their partners and spouses shows similar negative impacts on the workplace.
It has been my observation that the anticipated response to the age old question ‘how are you?’ has evolved from the vague, but generally optimistic ‘fine, and you?’ to ‘BUSY’. The deeper I dig, the more I realize that almost everyone I know is carefully teetering their way across the tight-rope we call life, straining to balance the cyclical demands of their everyday- family, friends, career, health, education, professional development, care of dependents, recreation, social obligations, volunteerism. The list goes on and on.
Survivors of domestic or sexual violence should not have to choose between their job and their safety. That’s the basic principle behind my Private Members’ Bill, the Domestic and Sexual Violence Workplace Leave, Accommodation and Training Act (Bill 26), which provides survivors with up to 10 days of paid leave for specific purposes related to or arising from the violence. These include seeking medical attention, accessing counselling, meeting with police or lawyers, or finding a new place to live (often an urgent challenge for women and their children who are fleeing violence). The bill also provides for additional unpaid leave if necessary, as well as workplace accommodations – such as changes to hours or location of work – and mandatory workplace training on domestic and sexual violence.
The winter holiday season creates many expectations for a time of joy. Television commercials, stores, online advertisements, all show images of happy families and friends celebrating together and enjoying the holiday celebrations.
This isn’t the reality for everyone, though. For many people the holidays are filled with sadness, anxiety or pain. This time of year can bring up difficult memories or bring us into contact with people who we would rather not see. It is especially tough for those who have lost a loved one or are going through difficult times. For some, family get-togethers can bring up painful memories or fears. Others might feel very alone and isolated at this time of year, with limited resources and support.