FIQ (Fédération Interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec)

Domestic violence is everyone’s concern!

Domestic violence is everyone’s concern!

For too long, domestic and family violence has been considered a private problem. However, one of the keys to escaping that hell is to break the isolation to get support. As such, the fight against violence is everyone’s concern, including workplaces.

The changes recently made to the Act respecting occupational health and safety clearly established the responsibility of employers in the protection of victims of domestic violence. It allows for the implementation of simple measures of accommodation, including the option to make personal calls during work hours or to modify one’s work schedule. It’s a step in the right direction but these changes lack ambition.

Ten days of paid leave

Women entering the labour market made a huge contribution to their financial emancipation. Financial independence, which is so important when fleeing a violent environment, must be preserved at all costs. That is why the Intersyndicale des femmes is demanding ten days of paid leave for all workers who are victims of domestic violence. Ten days is very little when it comes to rebuilding a life but it is a useful measure. It’s the minimum needed to take certain steps to get out of a violent environment without losing one’s revenue or risking receiving disciplinary measures. Granting these few days off is a profoundly human gesture of compassion and mutual aid. And above all, it will help to save lives.

This measure is in no way featherbrained. Other governments have implemented it, including the federal government, and even some private businesses. In fact, Quebec is one of the least generous provinces in the country, ranking just ahead of Alberta.

The wave of femicides crashing through our society should have caused the government to sit up and take note. It should be leading by example and adopting innovative, ambitious measures to fight against domestic violence. We firmly believe that the ten paid days off are an essential piece of this. While the initiative received support from opposition parties, the government chose to turn its back on victims of domestic violence. It’s absolutely appalling for a government that claims it takes domestic violence seriously. Words must translate into concrete actions, otherwise they mean nothing.

Intersyndicale des femmes

Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux (APTS)
Centrale des syndicats démocratiques (CSD)
Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ)
Fédération autonome de l’enseignement (FAE)
Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ)
Syndicat de la fonction publique et parapublique du Québec (SFPQ)
Syndicat de professionnelles et professionnels du gouvernement du Québec (SPGQ)