(l to r) Gord Mackintosh, Minister of Family Services & Housing; Nancy Allan, Minister of Labour & Immigration and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women; Rita Chahal, MCC GM and Graham Starmer, MCC President

(l to r) Gord Mackintosh, Minister of Family Services & Housing; Nancy Allan, Minister of Labour & Immigration and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women; Rita Chahal, MCC GM and Graham Starmer, MCC President

The MCC was honoured to help develop and launch a  comprehensive training program to help employers and co-workers recognize and respond to signs of domestic violence within the workplace.

Here is a video of the launch (text explaining the initiative and a link to the toolkit are below the video):

   

 

Manitoba has developed a comprehensive training program to help employers and co-workers recognize and respond to signs of domestic violence within the workplace, Family Services and Housing Minister Gord Mackintosh and Labour and Immigration Minister Nancy Allan, minister responsible for the status of women, announced today.

“Domestic violence is not just a personal issue, it’s everyone’s business,” said Mackintosh. “As the campaign says, family violence doesn’t stay home when Manitobans go to work. There is a growing recognition among employers that family violence often spills into the workplace and managers need to know how to support and work with employees who may be affected.”

Last November during Domestic Violence Prevention Month, Manitoba announced its commitment to develop domestic violence awareness training for employers in the private and public sectors. There have been many early expressions of interest in family violence training opportunities from private sector organizations and Crown corporations, said Mackintosh. Managers and supervisors within the public sector will be among the first to receive training.

“We want to lead by example,” said Allan. “It’s only fitting that as one of the major employers in the province we make this training available to civil servants.”

The training program and tool kit were developed with the support of the departments of Family Services and Housing, Labour and Immigration (status of women) and Justice in consultation with a number of Crown corporations, the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, community agencies, unions and service providers.

“Manitoba employers recognize that domestic violence can be a workplace problem,” said Graham Starmer, president of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. “This is a significant issue for workers’ health, as well as productivity and absenteeism. Employers have said they want to know how to make a difference when such a serious issue affects an employee.”

Manitoba is at the forefront of this kind of joint awareness and training initiative, said Mackintosh, adding there has already been an enthusiastic response from Crown corporations, civil servants and the private sector.

The new employer tool kit, with fact sheets on family violence, resource information and posters for display in the workplace, is now available. Called the Workplace Initiative to Support Employees (WISE) on Family Violence tool kit, it will offer practical information and resources to help employers support employees when family violence issues affect their workplace. The first training sessions will begin this spring.

While everyone recognizes the benefits of attending the training sessions, Mackintosh said, not everyone can get there, so an electronic version of the tool kit will be available online with links from a number of websites including the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, SAFEWork and Manitoba’s family violence prevention page. The direct link to the toolkit is www.manitoba.ca/fs/fvpp_toolkit.

For information on training sessions, organizations can contact the Family Violence Prevention Program directly at 204-945-1709.