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Ontario Expanding Worker Protections for Victims of Domestic or Sexual Violence

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Ontario Expanding Worker Protections for Victims of Domestic or Sexual Violence

Ontario Proposes Expanded Job-Protected Leave

Ministry of Labour

Ontario is creating safer workplaces by proposing a job-protected leave of absence when a worker or their child has experienced or is threatened with domestic or sexual violence.

Under this leave, a worker would have 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. If passed, the Domestic or Sexual Violence Leave would come into force January 1, 2018.

The leave is part of Ontario's plan for Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs, which includes hiking 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 ongoing work to improve the lives of Ontario families also includes creating 100,000 new licensed child care spaces, making prescription medications free for all children and youth 25 years of age or younger, and making tuition free for more than 210,000 students through the new OSAP.

Protecting workers is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • Employees would have the right to take both up to 10 days and up to 15 weeks of unpaid leave per calendar year.
  • The Domestic or Sexual Violence Leave would be in addition to any entitlement to leave under Family Medical Leave, Family Caregiver Leave and Critically Ill Child Care Leave, Child Death Leave, Crime-Related Child Disappearance Leave, and Personal Emergency Leave under the ESA.
  • Employees who have been employed for 13 consecutive weeks with the same employer would be entitled to this leave.

Additional Resources


“Building on the progress we’ve already made to protect workers in Ontario, we are taking further steps toward supporting Ontario families. When domestic or sexual violence occurs, the last thing victims and their families need is to worry about whether they can take time off of work. When someone or their child is a victim of such a tragic episode, they must have the time to get the help they need.”

Kevin Flynn

Minister of Labour

Media Contacts



Jobs and Employment Law and Safety