Today’s employment standards and labour laws are a generation out of date and no longer reflect the reality of increasingly precarious workplaces, Ontario’s Minister of Labour told Unifor’s Ontario Regional Council this morning.
The province is currently reviewing labour laws and employment standards in Ontario, for the first time in 20 years.
“The laws we wrote back then simply don’t apply to the realities of today’s workplace,” Kevin Flynn said. “We need to properly protect those who need protection, and we need to make sure that employers know what the standards are.”
Flynn thanked Unifor for its submission to the panel reviewing the Employment Standards Act and the Ontario Labour Relations Act.
Unifor’s submission contains 43 recommendations to better reflect the realities of the modern workplace in the laws employment standards, while making it easier to form a union. To read Unifor’s full submission, go to Unifor.org/WorkplaceChanges.
An interim report from the panel is due early in the new year, and Flynn said he will be looking for Unifor’s input before the final report is released next summer.
“You are the backbone of our province. What you do as a workforce drives the economy of this province,” he said.
Forty Unifor members will be at Queen’s Park on December 7 and 8 to meet with members of all three political parties about Unifor’s recommendations.
Flynn also pledged to work to close the gender wage gap, pointing to ongoing consultations by the province’s Gender Wage Gap Strategy Steering Committee.
“This is not simply a women’s issue,” he said. “This is a workplace issue. It’s a societal issue.”
Flynn stressed the need to peg compensation for injured workers to inflation while lowering the injury rate.