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Surrey-Newton NDP MLA Harry Bains arrives to the start of the debate at B.C. Legislature in Victoria on June 26, 2017. The government says granting workers paid leave allows them to attend medical, counselling or other appointments.

Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press

Workers affected by domestic or sexual violence would be eligible for up to five days a year of paid leave under legislation introduced on Tuesday by the B.C. government.

The legislation would also give the parents of a child who has been affected by domestic or sexual violence the same paid leave.

Workers were previously eligible for 10 days of unpaid leave without worrying about losing their jobs when facing similar circumstances.

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If the legislation is passed, it will mean five of those 10 leave days will be paid.

The government says granting workers paid leave allows them to attend medical, counselling or other appointments.

It also gives them a chance to look for a new home or school for their children.

“People facing domestic or sexual violence need far more supports to help them gain control of their lives than what was previously available in our province,” Labour Minister Harry Bains says in a news release.

The government says the legislation was written after it received feedback from almost 6,300 people, as well as submissions from employers, business associations and employee organizations last fall. It says the consultations found most people and organizations supported some paid leave for people affected by domestic or sexual violence.

We have a weekly Western Canada newsletter written by our B.C. and Alberta bureau chiefs, providing a comprehensive package of the news you need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. Sign up today.

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