The Canadian Press
TORONTO–A bill that would give people who experience domestic or sexual violence 10 days of paid leave from work cleared a hurdle in the Ontario’s legislature yesterday.
The private member’s bill proposed by NDP leader Andrea Horwath passed second reading with the support of both the Liberal government and Opposition Progressive Conservatives.
The bill still must be approved by a committee and voted on again by the legislature.
If passed, it also would provide up to 15 weeks of unpaid leave in addition to the paid absence provisions.
The government would cover the cost of the paid leave under the proposed legislation.
Horwath said yesterday the bill would provide survivors of domestic or sexual violence more supports to get out of abusive relationships.
“Today, when women need to take time off work to find a safe place to live, to resettle themselves and their kids, to seek medical care, or go to court, they risk losing their paycheques or losing their job all together,” she noted.
“All too often, that forces women to stay in dangerous situations.”
Horwath’s bill would amend the Liberal government’s own proposed changes to the Employment Standards Act, which provide an unpaid sexual assault/domestic violence leave of up to 17 weeks.