TORONTO, APRIL 3, 2013 – The Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) today released its Final Report on Vulnerable Workers and Precarious Work. The Report includes 47 recommendations designed to respond to the challenges faced by vulnerable workers to reduce their vulnerability to or the impacts of precarious work which extend to their health, family relationships and other areas of life beyond the workplace. The Project focuses, in particular, on improvements to the statutory and policy framework of the Employment Standards Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act in protecting these workers. However, it also reviews and makes recommendations about existing community and government supports and programs for workers, employers and for training and education, as well as the role of labour organizations.

“It is important for Ontarians to recognize that the nature of employment has changed. Much work can be characterized as ‘precarious’ – that is work with low wages, less job security, few benefits, and only minimal control over working conditions. The workers who work at these jobs are vulnerable. Precarious work and vulnerable workers present a challenge for us as a society. This Report attempts to provide recommendations on how we might meet that challenge,” said Bruce P. Elman, Chair of the Board of Governors of the LCO.

The LCO formed an Advisory Group made up of academics, advocates and representatives of government, workers, employers and community organizations. In early 2011, the LCO released Background and Consultation Papers for this project, and over the course of the Project the LCO has undertaken extensive research, including commissioning two research papers by noted academics and experts, and has conducted approximately 50 consultations with individuals and organizations. The LCO’s Interim Report was released for public feedback in August 2012. The Board of Governors approved the Final Report in December 2012.

Launched in September 2007, the LCO, funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario, the Ministry of the Attorney General, Osgoode Hall Law School and the Law Society of Upper Canada, and supported by the Ontario law deans and York University, is housed in the Ignat Kaneff Building, home of Osgoode Hall Law School. It operates independently of government to recommend law reform measures to enhance access to justice.


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