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Province supports victims of violence with paid job leave, responds to Domestic Violence Death Review Report
Published Monday, May 13, 2019 2:52PM CST
Last Updated Monday, May 13, 2019 3:48PM CST
The province has passed a bill to provide survivors of interpersonal violence with paid leave from work. The province has also released its response to the Domestic Violence Death Review Report.
Under Bill 172, employees will be permitted five paid and five unpaid days off. Previously, employees were permitted to take 10 days unpaid.
Eligible employees must be a victim themselves, or be a caregiver of a victim. They must be using the time off to seek medical treatment, services from a victim's organization, psychological services, relocating temporarily or permanently or seeking police or legal help. To qualify for the leave employees may have to provide proof of services received.
“All forms of interpersonal and sexual violence are unacceptable,” Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said. “It is important that we do everything we can to help survivors access the services and supports they need. We hope that allowing for survivors to take five days leave without the financial worries will make it easier for them to do so.”
Morgan says he hopes the change means victims can get the help they need without worrying about money.
The Opposition NDP has been pushing for the government to introduce paid leave for domestic violence victims and presented a private member's bill last year.
Saskatchewan struggles with high rates of domestic violence.
The Saskatchewan Coroners Service says that over the last 14 years, 71 people have died in domestic homicides -- more than half of them women.
Royal assent on the new bill is expected this month.
Following the passing of the bill on Monday, the government made public its reaction to the Domestic Violence Death Review Report.
Interpersonal Violence and Abuse: Response to the Domestic Violence Death Review Report outlines government initiatives for the prevention of interpersonal violence and abuse.
The province listed existing measures that address the recommendations, including its 811 health line with online information about resources and information about healthy relationships.
The government hasn't said whether there will be a future study of deaths in the province related to domestic violence.
"Every domestic violence death case should be reviewed using this process," the panel recommended in its 2018 report.
"The review should be mandated through legislation or amendments to existing legislation or ... it should be established as a study commission under the Public Inquiries Act."
With files from the Canadian Press.