Manitoba to add ‘interpersonal violence leave’ to employment standards

Would allow victims up to 17 weeks in 52-week period

Manitoba to add ‘interpersonal violence leave’ to employment standards
Employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking could soon be covered by an interpersonal violence leave in Manitoba

Manitoba is introducing amendments to its employment standards to broaden the domestic violence leave to include victims of interpersonal violence, such as sexual violence and stalking.

“Expanding eligibility to all victims of sexual violence and stalking, regardless of whether they know the assailant, would ensure all employees affected have time off to obtain medical, legal or other supports,” says Cathy Cox, minister of sport, culture and heritage.

The proposed change would also ensure an employee could also take leave if their child or a person under their care or control has witnessed or been harmed by interpersonal violence.

There are two parts to the leave. One would allow employees to take up to 10 days in consecutive or intermittent days in a 52-week period, as needed by the employee. The other would allow employees to take up to 17 weeks in a 52-week period in one continuous period. Employees could take the leave in any order that meets their individual circumstances.

Employees would have to be paid at least the wages they would normally earn for their regular hours of work on that day. Employees whose regular hours of work or wages vary would be entitled to be paid five per cent of their total regular wages (meaning without overtime) in the four weeks immediately prior to the day of leave.

This amendment aligns Manitoba with British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, which also allow employees who are victims of sexual violence to take a leave of absence from work regardless of the relationship to the assailant.

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