In protecting themselves against future liability, employers may find themselves stepping in line with the government, paving the way towards creating safe and respectful work environments within which employees’ conduct is held to a higher standard.
A policy specifically providing domestic violence leave, even if there is no legislation requiring it, would not only provide employees with some protections and benefits during a crisis, but would have the indirect effect of providing the employer with key information to better assess risks of violence to employees in the workplace and to better protect their safety.
As of the writing of this blog, Bill 26 has passed second reading and is before the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly for consultation and, so it remains to be seen if the above changes will come into force. That said, with the recent legislative attention on protecting employees with respect to sexual harassment and violence, it is likely that employers may soon need to revisit their policies and programs to account for domestic and sexual violence.
Established in 1995, First Reference is the leading publisher of up to date, practical and authoritative HR compliance and policy databases that are essential to ensure organizations meet their due diligence and duty of care requirements.