Changing Workplaces Review: Guiding Principles

Last week we discussed a general overview of the Changing Workplaces Review commissioned by the Ontario Labour Board and what issues the review covers and the objective of the review. In the coming weeks, we will discuss the trends being examined and the potential impact on employment standards.

In this week’s article, we will cover the guiding principles under which this review was undertaken. Each week we

will continue to delve into specific issues and how they may impact Ontario business.

An important focus of the review is to ensure protection of vulnerable workers in precarious jobs in both employment standards and labour relations. Protection of workers under both statutes depends on the education of employees and employers concerning:

  • Legal rights and obligations
  • Conformity to the law
  • Consistent enforcement
  • Effective compliance strategies

This study of vulnerable workers in precarious jobs looks to protects the rights of these workers, including:

  • Fair working conditions
  • Minimum standards of protection
  • Productive work
  • Living wage
  • Freedom of association and collective bargaining

Decency at Work

The International Labour Board defines Decency at Work as “opportunities for work that are productive and deliver a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families” This would include freedom to organize, speak up regarding workplace concerns and would provide equal opportunity and treatment for all workers, regardless of gender.

Meaningful Employment

Work is universally considered to be a vital part of any individual’s life. According to former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Brian Dickson, its purpose is providing the individual with a means of financial support and, as importantly, a contributory role in society. A person’s employment is an essential component of his or her sense of identity, self-worth and emotional well-being.”

Creating a Supportive Business Environment

When the current legislation was passed, the effected industries were concentrated mainly in manufacturing. Today, the business environment has changed substantially. Ontario has shifted to an increasingly service-based economy and companies have needed to become more mobile and flexible to remain competitive. These market changes must be considered in any new or revised legislation.

Stable, balanced approach

While laws designed to protect workers while promoting business must adapt to evolution of the business environment, they must be in the best interest of all parties and not subject to the influences of political parties.

Stay Up-to-Date

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See our related posts on the Changing Workplaces Review series: