policies & procedures
EMPLOYERS HAVE AN
IMPORTANT ROLE TO SUPPORT
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS
IN THEIR WORKPLACE
By Heather Hudson
What issue costs Canadian employers
$77.9 million every year? Domestic
violence. And that’s an answer that
may be surprising to some.
New research indicates that it’s probably affecting someone
in your workplace right now.
“Over a lifetime, one in three workers will experience
domestic violence. If you have a workforce of any size, you
can be almost certain that the problem is there,” said Barb
MacQuarrie, community director of the Centre for Research
& Education on Violence against Women & Children at Western
University in Ontario.
A 2014 survey of more than 8,400 people, conducted by The University of
Western Ontario and the Canadian Labour Congress, found that 33.6 per cent
experienced domestic violence from a partner and 35.4 per cent reported having at
least one co-worker who they believe has experienced it.
Domestic violence can enter the workplace through harassing phone calls, unwanted
visits, disruptive texts and emails, as well as distraction, fatigue, lateness, absences, unexplained
or frequent bruises and sudden changes in residence.
In 2015, The Conference Board of Canada released the report, Domestic Violence and
the Role of the Employer, which examined what Canadian employers are doing to support
employees experiencing domestic violence.
HRPATODAY.CA ❚ MARCH/APRIL 2016 ❚ 31