"Raising public awareness of this issue and its prevalence is one of the keys to addressing this issue. It is very clearly ‘not part of the job!’ All workers deserve to work in a safe environment and to be treated with respect regardless of their gender identity, religion, or ethnicity." — Bert Blundon, NUPGE President.
Domestic Violence and the Workplace
Domestic violence continues to be an issue that is all too prevalent in Canada. Although domestic violence can impact anyone, it disproportionately affects women and girls, particularly those of marginalized communities, and gender diverse and Two Spirit persons.
For someone experiencing domestic violence, it impacts all aspects of their life, including their work and workplace. Worker protections — as well as community-based supports and prevention — are key to addressing domestic violence; and thus labour unions have an important role to play.
The survey findings also underscore the need for Canada to ratify and implement the ILO Convention on violence and harassment in the world of work (No. 190).
"While this report looks back, we are focused on the future. There will be challenges ahead but we'll face them. As we recover from the last 2 years, we remain hopeful. It's time to reimagine our world. And we will do that—together." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
However, as the statistics reveal it is crucial to identify the root causes of gender-based violence such as the inequality, biases, and discrimination that women face and take actions now to end them. — Larry Brown, NUPGE President.
“Gender-based violence has not gone away during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, it’s gotten worse — in homes, in workplaces, and in public. Although it is not a new issue, the pandemic has brought a new urgency to the need to invest in prevention and in supports and services for victims and survivors.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
Gender Equality Week overlaps with Election Day. Voters will go to the polls to elect the next federal government — a government that will be responsible for getting us through the COVID-19 pandemic recovery and beyond. NUPGE encourages its members and the public to consider the political parties’ commitments to gender equality when casting their ballots.
Over the last 19 months, we have witnessed a pandemic within a pandemic. Physical and social isolation, economic stress, and the uncertainty of dealing with an unprecedented global health crisis have created a perfect storm for increasing domestic violence. The lockdowns imposed by governments to help restrict the rate of infections have made it harder for domestic violence survivors to seek help.
"This new team of leaders at the CLC is exciting! We've elected people who are firmly committed to our core values of fairness, equality and respect. They are inclusive and determined to focus on organizing the unorganized, continuing the fight for workers’ rights and for giving the tools to members to activate in their own communities.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
"The pandemic has exposed serious gaps in workplace safety and protection. This Day of Mourning launched almost 40 years ago because it was clear that workers were not being properly protected, this pandemic proves we have much more work to do." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
"While there are certainly some positive measures, there are also serious gaps and missed opportunities in this budget." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
NUPGE Annual Report: 2020 in Review is a look back on what NUPGE accomplished in 2020.
"The demands on shelters—in terms of capacity and in dealing with more severe cases of abuse—have only increased as the pandemic continues.” – Lise Martin, Executive Director of Women's Shelters Canada
"Canadian governments, employers, and unions all have a role to play in eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work, and to ensure the proper supports are in place for those who are affected. In fact, I believe we have a shared responsibility to do so." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President.
“We are witnessing a pandemic within a pandemic. Physical and social isolation, economic stress, and the overall uncertainty resulting from COVID-19 have created a perfect storm for the increased risk of domestic violence. What's worse, the lockdowns may make it harder for people experiencing violence to seek help.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
The increased prevalence of WFH, and the length of time workers are doing it, raises questions about workers’ legal protections for occupational health and safety (OHS). The intersection of WFH and OHS protection is an underexplored topic that will likely present new legal challenges for workers and unions.
The study found that, similar to women’s shelters, a lack of comprehensive and sustainable funding is a major challenge. Many of the shelters have to fundraise to cover the cost of operations and salaries.
This paper is a survey of how non-Canadian jurisdictions have implemented protections, especially job-protected leaves, for victims of domestic violence in the workplace. By examining different international models, this paper seeks to illustrate potential policy options and best practices. In addition, it aims to provide critical commentary to help identify potential gaps or issues with the effectiveness of certain legislative schemes meant to help victims of DV at work.
The report highlights existing gaps, as well as, best practices that may provide lessons for the Canadian context.
In this time of high stress and growing uncertainty, and as people are spending more time in their homes, the risk of domestic violence is high. Employers and governments must ensure the proper protections and additional resources are in place to support victims and survivors of domestic violence.
As we celebrate International Women's Day (IWD), it is important to acknowledge that we still have much work to do. But today, we also take the time to celebrate the gains that have been made.