Bill No. 10, which amends the Employment Standards Act to provide access to paid and unpaid leave for victims of domestic or sexualized violence received assent in the Yukon Legislative Assembly today.
New provisions will provide five days of paid leave and five days of unpaid leave that can be taken in increments. If required, a longer-term of up to 15 unpaid weeks can be taken all at once or in increments with the employer’s consent. Paid short-term leave and unpaid long-term leave will be available after 90 days of employment. Unpaid short-term leave will be available immediately.
The leave will be implemented once education and support materials are developed and in place. Stakeholders will be asked to share their expertise and knowledge in developing these materials.
Learning from the expertise and knowledge of support organizations, employers and those with lived experience will be invaluable as we develop the capacity and education materials for this new leave. Providing the right supports for employees and employers will allow victims to access this leave readily and in a way that ensures their confidentiality and dignity is respected.
Minister of Community Services John Streicker
Our government is committed to supporting victims to find the help and healing they deserve. These new leave provisions complement the work we are doing to support victims of sexualized and domestic violence through the Sexualized Assault Response Team and the Yukon Strategy on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit people. Whatever path they choose, supports are available for those who have experienced sexualized and domestic violence.
Minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate Jeanie McLean
Bill No. 10 provides access to paid and unpaid leave for victims of domestic or sexualized violence working in territorially regulated industries and professions. Yukon’s leave also extends to employees if their child, a person they care for, or close friend is a victim of domestic or sexualized violence.
Input from gender-equality seeking organizations, Indigenous women’s groups, LGBTQ2S+ groups, Yukon’s business community and other stakeholders will inform the implementation of this new leave.
All 10 provinces and the Northwest Territories have enacted some version of leave for domestic violence. Yukon joins the six jurisdictions that also provide leave for sexualized violence. The approaches vary in length of leave provided, and whether it is paid or unpaid.
Rates of gender-based violence in Yukon are three times the national average. Indigenous women and girls are three to four times more likely to experience gender-based violence.
Canadian employers lose $77.9 million annually because of direct and indirect impacts of domestic violence.