Precarious Positions: Policy Options to Mitigate Risks in Non-standard Employment
Following the great recession, commentators drew attention to workers with little job security, no benefits and without access to full-time permanent work (Yalnizyan 2012, Van Alphen 2013). This discussion was amplified as millennials voiced their frustrations with poor job prospects amid slow economic growth. Further, declining rates of union density in the private sector, as well as factors such as globalization and technology, were presented as potential reasons for a rising class of “precarious” workers (CLC 2016). In response to these concerns, Ontario and other provinces are examining labour laws and their enforcement. The motivation for doing so is reasonably straightforward: if a large segment of workers faces uncertainties, due to a lack of employment security and low compensation, this could reduce willingness to spend, slow family creation, delay home purchases, and so on.