Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, emerging data shows that violence against women, especially domestic and intimate partner violence (DIPV), has intensified. Many people had to work from home due to lockdowns, which, in some cases, resulted in greater tensions in family relationships and exacerbated violence. This shift to remote work suggests that many employers are encouraging remote work. This merits special attention, especially for people experiencing DIPV who may have limited or no access to an out-of-home work environment.
In response to this situation, Restigouche Family Services collaborated with CBDC Restigouche and other partners to create additional tools to better help employers manage this new reality.
The information in these additional tools will help you better understand the effects of DIPV in a remote work context and shed light on how employers can better support their employees to prevent or help someone when signs are identified.
These additional tools promote inclusive management practices aimed at creating a structure that allows employers to consider DIPV when developing and implementing workplace and remote work policies and practices. Inclusive management practices are meant to raise awareness about remote work and DIPV and to assist employers in managing proactively by integrating DIPV-related information and practices into their day-to-day operational policies and procedures.
Several specific tools already exist across Canada to support employers in understanding signs of DIPV, impacts of DIPV on women and how DIPV is linked to the workplace.
The tools in this document are meant to complement the existing NB Toolkit below. Therefore, employers are strongly advised to explore it to gain essential knowledge on DIPV in the workplace:
The provincial DIPV: IT’s Your Business NB Toolkit developed by the New Brunswick DIPV in the Workplace Committee
This toolkit is intended to provide New Brunswick employers, unions and employees with information and resources to recognize and respond to situations in which DIPV enters the workplace.
The regional “Breaking Workplace Silence” package for Restigouche employers developed by the Restigouche CBDC:
This website contains packaged information based on the NB DIPV: It’s Your Business Workplace Toolkit, as well as Restigouche-based resources to help employers understand and support employees who may be experiencing violence.
To build on existing tools and to address new challenges in the workplace since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, these additional tools will specifically address remote or home-based work. They are presented from the perspective of employers’ social responsibility and aim to help employers consider the impacts of remote work on people experiencing DIPV and integrate DIPV into their policies, procedures and decision-making processes.
It is with great appreciation that the Restigouche Family Services (RFS) team acknowledges the financial support of the Canadian Women’s Foundation through the Department of Women and Gender Equality Canada in the activities that led to the development of these additional tools.
The team would also like to acknowledge the contribution of CBDC Restigouche as a key partner in this project. We also gratefully acknowledge the materials developed by the New Brunswick D/IPV in the Workplace Committee and the Canadian Women’s Foundation since much of the information in this document was inspired by them.
RFS also recognizes the Advisory Committee members who provided valuable feedback on
these additional tools:
Finally, RFS wishes to thank all of the employers who participated in an online survey conducted during this project, as well as all those who will use this tool to improve working conditions for people experiencing DIPV.