Skip to main content

Canada Saskatchewan introduces five-day paid leave for domestic violence victims

Justice Minister Don Morgan, seen here on Oct. 25, 2017, says he hopes the change means victims can get the help they need without worrying about money.

Mark Taylor/The Canadian Press

Saskatchewan will be offering paid leave to victims of domestic and sexual violence who require time off from work.

The government has introduced and passed legislation that it expects to take effect later this month.

The change means employees, who were previously entitled to take 10 unpaid days of leave, can take five paid days and five unpaid days off. They can use the leave to move, obtain support services, get medical help and attend court appearances.

Story continues below advertisement

“These are women that are working largely in low-income jobs. If they were working in higher income jobs, they would have the ability to leave,” Tina Beaudry-Mellor, the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Office, said on Monday.

“This makes a difference to women in those situations. And probably most importantly, it makes a difference to the children that are also in those situations.”

Justice Minister Don Morgan said he hopes the change means victims can get the help they need without worrying about money.

The paid leave not only extends to employees who are themselves victims of domestic or sexual violence, but they can take it if their child or someone who is in their care is a victim.

He said some groups the government consulted with on the new measure wanted a more educational approach to dealing with domestic violence.

That’s important too, Justice Morgan said. “But I don’t think that helps a victim or a person that’s going through that kind of a crisis.”

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.

Story continues below advertisement

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.

The province on Monday also released a formal response to recommendations made one year ago by a panel that studied domestic homicides in Saskatchewan.

The government said at the time that it accepted the panel’s 19 suggestions, which ranged from providing better education for students about healthy relationships to establishing a provincial call line to provide information and support to victims and perpetrators of domestic violence.

The province listed Monday existing measures that address the recommendations, including its 811 health line with online information about resources and information about healthy relationships and school health curriculum.

Ms. Beaudry-Mellor said a lot of work is happening, including a pilot project by the Regina Police Service to have experts review some of its sexual assault cases. There’s also the introduction of Clare’s Law, which will allow police in Saskatchewan to warn people about a partner’s violent history.

Story continues below advertisement

Not all of it is complete right now, she said, “but definitely this is on the government’s radar and it’s something that we’re working through quite closely,” she said.

Justice Morgan said there’s no plan to formally carry on the expert panel’s review process, even though the panel called for a continuation of some sort in its 2018 report.

He said the government’s intent is to implement the recommendations, which intersect with various ministries such as health, justice and education.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter