Ontario workers rise up — or do they?

The Ontario government’s proposal for the modern workplace and what it means for millennials
By Natalie MacDonald and Geoffrey Lowe
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 07/19/2017

Recently, the Ontario government released its long-awaited Final Report of the Changing Workplaces Review. This report suggested approximately 150 changes to several pieces of legislation, amongst them the Employment Standards Act, 2000. Shortly after its release, the government announced Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, which contains the government’s suggested changes to the act, some of which go beyond the changes suggested in the report. However, a number of positive changes that were suggested in the report appear to have been omitted from the government’s consideration. The first reading of Bill 148 took place on June 1, 2017. Bill 148 was subsequently ordered to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs for review and comment.

The workplace is being revolutionized and the casualties are the millennials. They are caught between wanting to be part of the Canadian workforce and not being properly admitted to it. Millennials, who form the most significant population of the workplace today, are being relegated to temporary, part-time and contract positions, without any means to become full-time permanent members of working society.

This is bad for the economy, as if we do not have permanent employees, they will not be spending. It is bad for morale, as we will witness a generation of workers living from paycheque to paycheque in a type of welfare state. It is bad for the social sphere, as millennials will live with their parents, not being able to afford to move out, which will, in turn, lead to less or no socializing, not dining out, not qualifying for loans or mortgages, and of course, this leads back up to not spending on our economy.