At the time, the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (LRA) seemed to cover every aspect of employment, protecting both employers and individuals. Since these Acts were made law, the workplace has continued to evolve rapidly. As such, the Ontario Labour Board thought it wise to revisit this legislation, paying particular attention to:
- Overall economic changes
- Revisions to the concepts of workplace
- Globalization and trade liberalization
- Technological developments
- Growth of the service sector
- Increasing workforce flexibility
- Declining union enrollment
One of the driving factors leading the Labour Board to examine these changes is the growth of non-standard or precarious employment. As the need for on-demand and short-term employees has increased, the temporary employment industry has grown substantially. That growth has turned the spotlight on the industry with the board’s Special Advisors putting staffing firm practices under the microscope.
While temporary employment has advantages for both employers and individuals, it doesn’t fall neatly into the confines of previous legislation. The role of the advisors is to examine employment practices within the staffing industry to see what changes may be required to protect workers. In particular the labour board states:
“We understand that our mandate requires us to consider all workers in Ontario whose employment:
- makes it difficult to earn a decent income;
- interferes with their opportunities to enjoy decent working conditions; and/or
- puts them at risk in material ways.”
What is the potential impact on the staffing industry?
Marina Butler, President of Employment Professionals Canada and an expert on staffing and HR in Ontario, voices concern that the Special Advisors may focus solely on the potential negative qualities of temporary staffing while neglecting the benefits it provides. “Temporary employment allows employers to remain competitive in a global market and provides workers with much-desired job flexibility. Ontario workers are able to demonstrate their abilities on the job and accommodate school, family and other obligations while remaining employed. These advantages are often ignored by those looking to protect workers without considering evolving the needs of today’s workplace and individuals. It’s vital that the labour board take a holistic approach to evaluating the temporary employment industry,” she says.
To remain up to date on the latest Ontario employment news, connect with Employment Professionals Canada. From our blog to our talented team, we strive to assist professionals and companies in Ontario to succeed. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.
Browse related articles: