The Manitoba government has amended The Employment Standards Code to broaden domestic violence leave to include victims of interpersonal violence, Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Cathy Cox, minister responsible for status of women, announced today.

“Our government is taking another step to ensure better support for survivors of domestic and sexual violence during some of the darkest days of their lives,” Cox said. “These changes to expand eligibility to all survivors of sexual violence and stalking, regardless of whether they know the perpetrator, help ensure all employees affected have time off to obtain medical, legal or other supports.”
The changes received royal assent today and will take effect immediately, the minister noted.

The new leave provisions allow employees to take 10 consecutive or intermittent days of leave per year, and up to 17 weeks per year in one continuous period in a way that best meets their needs. The change extends eligibility to all victims of sexual violence and stalking, and ensure an employee could also take leave if their child or a person under their care or control has witnessed or been harmed by interpersonal violence.

The changes bring Manitoba into alignment with British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, the other provinces that allow employees who are victims of sexual violence to take a leave of absence from work regardless of the relationship to the assailant.

The minister noted the changes are consistent with recently passed The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act, expanding the existing early lease-termination provisions for victims of domestic violence and stalking to also cover victims of sexual violence more generally.

More information about domestic violence leave in Manitoba is available here.