The Ministry of Labour will launch a public consultation this Spring that looks at how Ontario’s current Labour Relations Act and Employment Standards Act meet the new realities of the workplace. This includes a labour market where, as reported in the 2013 United Way/McMaster study, in the GTA about 40% are now employed in some form of precarious work (temporary, part-time etc) with minimal access to benefits. The review will look at labour rights and protections, focusing on trends also in the service sector, impact of globalization, technological change and workplace diversity. Leading the consultation are C. Michael Mitchell, formerly of Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP, and the Honourable John C. Murray, a former justice of the Ontario Superior Court and prominent management labour lawyer.
Deena Ladd, Worker’s Action Centre, commenting today in the Toronto Star on the announcement, voiced the view of many labour rights groups in saying the review was “desperately needed”.