The current enforcement model of employment standards in Ontario does little to deter violations of the law: the system is understaffed, depends on workers who have experienced violations to confront their bosses, and rarely imposes penalties on employers beyond what they already should have paid. Good enforcement should make it cost – not pay – to break the law. Read this week’s article, ‘Ontario employers get slap on wrist for mistreating employees’, the last in this four-part series.
As the government embarks on a review of the Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act in Ontario, the Toronto Star has done a four-part series on some of the key issues facing workers in precarious and low-wage jobs in the province. The series features interviews with workers, many of them members of the Workers’ Action Centre, talking about the ways in which the law doesn’t do enough to protect them – either because the law has not kept up with the changing nature of work, or because it has been hollowed out and is not adequately enforced.
The Toronto Star series highlights key issues and recommendations for change that the Workers’ Action Centre raised in its recently released report, Still Working on the Edge: Building Decent Jobs from the Ground Up, which provides a full assessment of the current weaknesses in employment standards and presents a comprehensive set of recommendations for change.
Every Monday in May, you’ve read the stories and heard the voices of workers who are demanding change, who are saying that it’s time for decent work now. With the government’s review of labour laws already underway, the time to act is now. Tell your story – get your name on the list to appear at one of the public consultations taking place in June, July and September, or submit your thoughts in writing. Start a conversation in your community about what decent jobs would look like. Contact us if you need support in getting involved.