UPSE calls for paid leave for victims of domestic abuse

The president of the P.E.I. Union of Public Sector Employees is coming out in support of making changes to the Employment Standards Act to give victims of domestic abuse paid leave from work.

P.E.I. should follow lead of Ontario and Manitoba, says Karen Jackson

UPSE president Karen Jackson says the province should look at including paid time off for victims of domestic violence. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

The president of the P.E.I. Union of Public Sector Employees is coming out in support of giving victims of domestic abuse paid leave from work.

Karen Jackson said the province should follow the lead of Ontario and Manitoba, where systems are already in place to provide paid leave for domestic abuse victims. In order to implement paid leave, the government would have to make changes to the Employment Standards Act.

British Columbia and New Brunswick are also currently working toward similar changes.

She said it's important that P.E.I. work to make the changes a reality.

"The sooner the better, you know it could possibly save a life."

Jackson said having to take a leave of absence would help alleviate one of the financial barriers to leaving an abusive home situation and provide time to seek legal or medical assistance. In Ontario and Manitoba, employees receive five paid and five unpaid days.

Jackson said she thinks employers would also support these changes. She also said UPSE often advocates for broader changes that affect all Islanders and not just their members.

With files from Malcolm Campbell