Across Canada, there is an increase in awareness of the dangers that domestic violence can pose to the workplace.
A 2014 report on the findings of a survey on domestic violence and workplace said that “Canadian employers lose $77.9 million annually due to the direct and indirect impacts of domestic violence.”1 The number of provinces including domestic violence in Occupational Health and Safety legislation is growing. Ontario incorporated domestic violence into its Occupational Health and Safety Act back in 2009 to address it specifically as a workplace hazard. Manitoba’s Employment Standards Code outlines support to be provided to employees involved in a domestic violence situation; Saskatchewan is considering similar legislation.
More recently, in May 2017, Alberta’s Minister of Community and Social Services, Irfan Sabir, released the second annual report by the Family Violence Death Review Committee. The report provided statistics for 132 family violence deaths in Alberta from 2008-15. Many of the cases reviewed for the annual report found that the acts of violence that led to a victim’s death took place at the victim’s workplace. As a result, the Committee’s recommendations included a suggestion for Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) “to recognize and include family violence as a workplace hazard”. The report went further to also recommend that “workplaces be required to implement policies, procedures, monitoring and accountability mechanisms to deal with family violence as a workplace hazard, in collaboration with police services.”
While Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Code identifies workplace violence as a hazard and requires employers to implement policies and procedures for dealing with potential incidents, the provisions are not yet specific to domestic violence. However, family violence prevention materials are now available in Alberta Works offices, and the Alberta ministry is “also working with the department of labour to come up with strategies to deal with family violence as a workplace hazard.”2
Domestic violence is just one of the many areas covered in Corridor’s Workplace Violence Training. Protect your staff by ensuring they understand basic safety precautions and measures to prevent workplace violence and harassment, and what to do if they encounter such a situation.
Our generic online training for employees and supervisors is ready for use without any customization, or incorporate your company’s policy and procedures to tailor the information for your employees and workplace. Contact us for more information on how Corridor can support your organization’s Workplace Violence training.
1 Wathen, C. N., MacGregor, J. C. D., MacQuarrie, B. J. with the Canadian Labour Congress. (2014). Can Work be Safe, When Home Isn’t? Initial Findings of a Pan-Canadian Survey on Domestic Violence and the Workplace. London, ON: Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women and Children.
2 Jennifer Koshan “Recent Developments in Domestic Violence Law and Policy in Alberta” (24 May, 2017), online: ABlawg, https://ablawg.ca/dev/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Blog_JK_FV.pdf