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Ministry of Labour

Media Relations
Government Communications and Public Engagement
250 888-8074


Facts about domestic and sexual violence


  • Currently, people facing domestic or sexual violence may take up to 10 non-consecutive days and 15 consecutive weeks (or non-consecutive with the employer’s consent) of unpaid, job-protected leave. If passed, these changes will provide up to five non-consecutive days of paid leave, five non-consecutive unpaid days and the same 15 additional unpaid weeks.
  • Anyone considered an employee covered by the Employment Standards Act is eligible for this leave.
  • British Columbia and Alberta are the only two Canadian provinces that do not require employers to offer paid leave for people facing domestic or sexual violence.
  • Among the provinces that offer paid leave, the length varies from two to five days.

Public consultation:

  • From Aug. 30 to Oct. 8, 2019, 6,261 surveys were completed and 32 written submissions were received.
    • 77% of survey respondents were full- or part-time employees, 4% were employers.
    • Women respondents comprised 81%, men 14% and gender diverse populations 5%.
    • 7% of respondents identified as Indigenous.
    • 30 of 32 submissions were supportive of paid leave. One was opposed, the other mixed.
  • Overwhelmingly, people (employers and workers) supported paid leave of up to five days.
    • 96% said they believe paid leave is important.
    • 94% of employees and 83% of employers supported paid leave.
    • On the number of days, 67% supported five days and 12% favoured up to 10 days.

Domestic and sexual violence:

  • 82% of working people who have experienced domestic violence said it interfered with work performance.
  • About two-thirds of those who have faced domestic violence in Canada are women.
  • 87% of sexual assaults reported to police are reported by women.
  • One in four (26%) of these sexual assault victims were children aged 13 years and younger.
  • Indigenous women and girls are 3.5 times more likely to face violence than non-Indigenous.
  • Three to five children in every classroom are exposed to domestic violence.
  • LBGBTQ2S+ people are more than twice as likely to experience violence than the rest of the population.