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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Ontario Expanding Job-Protected Leave for Survivors of Domestic or Sexual Violence

Workers Have the Right to Up to 17 Weeks Off, Includes Five Days of Paid Leave

Ontario is creating safer workplaces with a new, job-protected paid leave of absence when a worker or their child experiences or is threatened with domestic or sexual violence.

As of January 1, 2018, a worker has the right to take up to 17 weeks off without the fear of losing their job. Ten days of that leave may be taken a day at a time for things like medical appointments, and an employee may also take up to 15 weeks intermittently for reasons that require more time, such as making moving arrangements. The first five days of leave in each calendar year would be paid, the rest would be unpaid and job-protected.

The leave is part of Ontario's plan for Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs, which includes increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2019, ensuring part-time workers are paid the same hourly wage as full-time workers, introducing paid sick days for every worker, enabling at least three weeks' vacation after five years with the same employer and stepping up enforcement of employment laws.

Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change also includes free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • The Domestic or Sexual Violence Leave is additional to any entitlement to leave under the Employment Standards Act, including Family Medical Leave, Family Caregiver Leave and Critical Illness Leave, Child Death Leave, Crime-Related Child Disappearance Leave, and Personal Emergency Leave.
  • Ontario has launched a Gender-Based Violence Strategy to help survivors get the support they need and to help prevent violence by intervening early.
  • Ontario’s new Strategy for Women’s Economic Empowerment helps build fairer, better workplaces, helping to remove long-standing barriers that have kept women from benefiting equally in Ontario’s economy.
  • Employees who have been employed for 13 consecutive weeks with the same employer are entitled to this leave.

Additional Resources

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