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Employers Must Protect Survivors Who Work from Home

landmark ruling from an Australian Supreme Court is raising awareness of the responsibility employers have to protect home-based workers from domestic violence. 

The case involves a couple that worked together from their home for a financial planning business. In 2010, Steven Hill bludgeoned his partner, Michel Carroll to death with a hammer. Hill suffered from paranoid delusions and believed that Carroll was conspiring to steal his clients and ruin him. In June 2020, the New South Wales Supreme Court ruled that an employer can be held responsible for family violence when staff work from home. 

 

Unifor Women’s Advocates remain active during Covid-19

Women’s Advocates for the workplaces who have been laid off as well as those working from home are able to be contacted remotely through dedicated email addresses or cell phones. Advocates are working to reach out to local services, including shelters, to determine whether new protocols are in place due to the pandemic. Shelters have had to put rules in place due to physical distancing. Some have had to offer shelter in hotels where their shelters are full or they need to reduce the number of people at the shelter. Some shelters have put new processes in place to allow women to contact them for support, counselling and safety planning. Using text and online chat can allow women to reach out without being overheard by their abuser.  

The value of being prepared

The pandemic is teaching us the extraordinary value of preparedness. When the lockdown started in early March, it came as a shock that society could so suddenly be closed. The implications for citizens who are vulnerable have been highlighted in devastating ways, showing us that a deep-rooted health crisis was already present. Vulnerability and social disadvantage are reflected in the demographics of those who die.

National Day of Mourning – Remembering Victims of Workplace Sexual Violence

On June 2nd, 1996, sixteen months after she had filed a sexual harassment complaint against him, Theresa Vince was murdered at work by her supervisor. On November 12th, 2005, Nurse Lori Dupont was murdered by a co-worker whom she had previously had an intimate relationship with. Despite these deaths occurring at their respective workplaces, in both cases a coroner’s inquest only occurred because of the lobbying efforts of families, women’s advocates, and organized Labour, academics, survivors, and community groups.

How Employers Can Help when Home Isn’t Safe: Domestic Violence and COVID-19

As the spread of COVID-19 forces Canadians to stay home, people who live with an abusive parent or partner are at increased risk of violence. Employers have a role to play in ensuring that their employees stay as safe as possible.

This morning the federal government announced $50 million for women’s shelters and sexual assault centres, along with a host of other measures to help workers and businesses get through the pandemic. The emergency relief is important. Shelters are facing complex challenges as they work to ensure safety throughout the crisis. New feder

Impact of Violence on the Workplace - Part 2

I thought it would be useful to find numbers on domestic abuse in Canada to give a sense of the scope of the workplace impact. I found, perhaps not surprisingly, that stats on Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in Canada reveal that numbers are readily available for physical and sexual violence. Little information is available, however, regarding other types of aggression in intimate relationships including neglect, verbal and emotional abuse, financial and social control, and male entitlement.

Impact of Violence on the Workplace - Part 1

Trying to avoid spilling my precious morning coffee while lugging the ancient beast of a laptop, I settled awkwardly into a spot at the café that was my “second living room.” The kids were just off to school and I was determined to make this the morning that I wrote my first blog post for Centre for Violence Against Women and Children. I had shared my story with the Centre a few months earlier and had been invited to write about a couple of topics; the impact of domestic violence on the workplace would be my first.

Best of 2019 at MIOB

This past year has been full of change. The influence of the #MeToo movement in the workplace cannot be downplayed, with many more women feeling encouraged and supported to come forward with their experiences of harassment and abuse. It has also helped to create better practices and policies within organizations, while also opening the doors to have these conversations. At Make It Our Business, we have continued to focus on educating workplaces and organizations with a variety of training options, while also discussing issues that are becoming more mainstream or need to be at the forefront of issues, especially through our blog.

How to Stay Mentally Healthy During the Holidays

Image of woman standing in snow wearing winter clothes and smilingThe winter holiday season creates many expectations for a time of joy. Television commercials, stores, online advertisements, all show images of happy families and friends celebrating together and enjoying the holiday celebrations.

This isn’t the reality for everyone, though. For many people the holidays are filled with sadness, anxiety or pain. This time of year can bring up difficult memories or bring us into contact with people who we would rather not see. It is especially tough for those who have lost a loved one or are going through difficult times. For some, family get-togethers can bring up painful memories or fears. Others might feel very alone and isolated at this time of year, with limited resources and support.

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