It’s easy to assume that domestic violence isn’t a workplace safety issue but you’d be wrong. Too often, domestic violence can directly impact the victim’s job and affect not only the victim but also her co-workers. In fact, Justice Canada estimates the cost of domestic violence to Canadian employers at nearly $78 million a year.
But despite some well-publicized cases, most notably that of Lori Dupont, there’s a lack of data about the scope and impact of domestic violence on Canadian workers and workplaces specifically.
That reality has lead researchers at Western University and the Women’s Committee of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) to conduct the first national survey looking into the impact of domestic violence on workers and workplaces in Canada.
The Domestic Violence in the Canadian Workplace Survey is intended to gather information on how domestic violence is affecting workers while they’re at work and how often this happens in Canada.
CLC Executive Vice-President Barbara Byers says, “The results of this survey will provide made-in-Canada research that will help unions, employers, advocates and governments develop good public policy as well as negotiate workplace supports.”
Safety professionals should take the survey—and encourage all of their company’s employees to do so, too. As an incentive, anyone who completes the confidential survey will be entered in a drawing to win a tablet computer.
The survey is available online—and accessible by both computers and mobile devices—in English and French until June 6, 2014. It may be completed by all workers age 15 and older, whether they’ve personally experienced or witnessed domestic violence.
You must complete the survey in one sitting, which will take 10 to 30 minutes.
To learn more about domestic violence, attend our webinar on Feb. 19 in which Glenn French, President and CEO of the Canadian Initiative on Workplace Violence, will discuss how to address domestic violence in your workplace.
In the meantime, here are five strategies for handling domestic violence and its impact on the job.