Law Commission seeks input from employers

Vulnerable workers, 'precarious' work in spotlight

The Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) is seeking input from employers on vulnerable workers and precarious work. The commission has released background and consultation papers looking at the rise in part-time and temporary work, and the increased reliance on independent contractors and other forms of "precarious" jobs in Ontario.

The papers also look at the degree of legal protection afforded to workers in these positions and the impact of these jobs on their daily lives. Women, members of racialized communities, newcomers to Canada, temporary migrant workers and non-status workers disproportionately engage in precarious work, according to the LCO, a group that makes recommendations to enhance access to justice and make lost more relevant and efficient.

“The number of people in precarious jobs has increased and is expected to grow even further,” said Patricia Hughes, executive director at the LCO. “It is crucial that we hear the views and experiences of vulnerable workers and employers so that law reform recommendations can be effective.”

The LCO is particularly interested in hearing from employers that:

• face operational or economic challenges adhering to minimum employment standards legislation

• encounter difficulty filling low-skilled or low-paid jobs and may rely increasingly upon over-skilled, immigrant or temporary foreign workers

• have implemented practices that promote compliance with employment standards legislation and support protective legislation for workers

• have views on potential labour shortages and potential regulatory responses.

The LCO said it will make recommendations in a final report that seek to improve the situation of vulnerable workers, taking into account the needs of employers and the benefits to Ontario society at large. The papers are available at and submissions are welcome by April 1, 2011.

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