Can work be safe, when home isn't? | National Union of Public and General Employees

Can work be safe, when home isn't?

Survey finds disturbing results about domestic violence and its effects in the workplace.

Ottawa (28 Nov. 2014) — The results of a groundbreaking survey on domestic violence and the workplace has just been released, showing the dramatic impact domestic violence has on people's work performance. The study, conducted between December 6, 2013 and June 6, 2014, was a joint project between the University of Western Ontario and the Canadian Labour Congress. This study is the first-ever survey on domestic violence in the workplace.

First-ever survey on domestic violence in the workplace 

The initial findings of the survey, Can Work Be Safe When Home Isn’t, exposes how domestic violence follows people to work and the significant impact it has on their work performance.

Of the 8,429 respondents one third said they had experienced domestic violence and of those,  82 per cent said it negatively impacted their ability to do their job. One tenth said they had experienced domestic violence in the last 12 months. 

  • Almost 40 per cent reported that the violence had kept them from getting to work and almost ten percent said they had lost their jobs because of domestic violence.

Women, Aboriginal people, and members of the LGBTQ community reported higher rates of violence.

Just less than 60 per cent of those who experienced domestic violence did not discuss it with someone at work.

Report recommends changes to multiple pieces of legislation to ensure workers are protected and accommodated when dealing with domestic violence

The report identifies next steps that include amending Occupational Health & Safety legislation to place positive obligations on employers to protect workers from domestic violence, amending provincial and federal Employment Standards to give the right to request flexible working arrangements and entitlements to paid domestic violence leave.

The National Union believes that this evidence will help support unions and organizations working to end violence against women. The findings will bolster efforts to ensure that victims of domestic abuse have safety in the workplace and the support needed for themselves and their children when dealing with consequences of violence.

More information:

Can Work Be Safe, When Home Isn't


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE


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