Organized labor is also known as the union is an association which works
for the employee’s welfare by collective bargaining with the employer. Labor
markets in Canada are affected by three main principal forces of change like
globalization of competition, technological advances and changes in the
demographic structure of the workforce. The last century has seen vast changes
in Canada’s population. With the marked exception of the post-war baby boom,
there has been a steady decline in fertility, accompanied by a decrease in
death rate and an increase in life expectancy. These results in the aging of
Canada’s population. The composition of Canada’s population reflects the
demographic shift to an older population with seniors accounting for an
ever-increasing proportion of the population.
” Management of technological change is one of the most challenging
problems facing practitioners,” and “understanding worker reaction to
new technologies… is a problem that warrants considerably more attention”
(Kochan, 1980,p.82).Technological changes have a number of impacts on the labor
market. There has been a shift from primary and manufacturing industries towards
services. Mass production systems have been transformed into production system
characterized by smaller scale, greater flexibility in the organization of
work, greater emphasis on skill and flatter hierarchies. It has also increased
the demand for highly skilled work relative to that for less skilled work
(skill-biased technological change).
is not a new phenomenon; what is new is its pervasiveness and intensity.
Globalization has contributed to a reduction in wage differentials across
countries for a labor of similar skill but has led to an increase in wage
inequality between lower and higher skill levels within high wage countries.
Increased mobile capital, increase trade of goods and services and enhanced
mobility of highly skilled workers and job are the characteristic features of
KEY LABOUR MARKET CHALLENGES:
LOW PAID WORK:
average of 2 million Canadian adult works for less than 10 $ an hour (
Sounders. R, Maxwell. J, March 2003). About one-third of these workers are the
only source of income in their family. Almost two third of them are women.
Barriers they are facing to improve their pay include lack of educational or
professional qualification, skills that are outdated, disability and
discrimination on the basis of age, sex or race.
has the largest low wage sector in the western world. Most of the low wage
workers are living in poverty. High rates of poverty among working-age
population indicate wasted human resource, opportunities, and public spending.
As the OECD has concluded, “failure to tackle the poverty and exclusion
facing millions of families and their children is not only socially
reprehensible, but it will also weigh heavily on countries’ capacity to sustain
economic growth in years to come”.
companies are employing an increasing number of low wage workers. Currently
nearly half of all minimum wage jobs are in large firms. In 1998, big business
hired 29.6% of all minimum wage employees in Canada; by 2012 they employed
45.3%.a recent study of the working poor in Toronto found that among the
working poor; 48%have high schools and 52% have some other higher education
(Sounders. R, Maxwell. J, Changing labor markets: March 2003). Low wage jobs
may not help, and may even hurt, the future labor market prospects of the
workers who hold them.
ACCESS TO EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS AND BENEFITS:
rights refer to statutory minimum standards of employment such as minimum wage,
overtime pay, hours of work limit, public holidays, paid vacations, notice of
termination and job protection for maternity and parental leave. These
employment protection apply only to those in traditional employment relation
and not for those who operate an independent contractors .some of these
standards are effective only after the worker has been employed for some minimum
period of time, which means that those who work in a series of short-term
employment relationship with different employers may lack access to the full
scheme of statutory minimum standards.
benefits refer to non-wage perquisites that are not required by statute. These
are given by employers on a voluntary basis or as a result of a collective
agreement with representatives of the employees. This includes extended health
plans, dental care, sick leave, long-term disability benefits, group life
insurance and pension plans. On standard workers are excluded from some or all
of these benefits plans. Workers with regular full-time jobs may still lack
meaningful access to employment rights. This may be because they are unaware of
these rights. In these circumstances, real access to minimum employment
standards depends upon the extent to which government bodies are successful in
identifying high-risk sectors and employers and taking active measures to
foster compliance. These include measures like proactive audits of employers in
high-risk sectors, awareness campaigns and using transparency as a policy
instrument by publically identifying great offenders.
ACHIEVING BETTER WORK-LIFE BALANCE:
by Duxbury and Higgins (2001) shows that work-life conflict increased in
1990’s.People work for more hour and do bring some work to their home from
their office with the help of new technologies. The result of all these are
workers report more stress, more health problems, less job satisfaction,
greater difficulties in managing family responsibilities and less commitment to
levels of work-life conflict lead to employer costs. There are also societal
costs through greater use of health care system. Also, employees experiencing
high work demand choose to have fewer children or none at all.
main challenge is to find a path to reasonable workload and to greater support
my managers for employees to find the time to meet personal and family needs.
The effects of work-life conflict on morale, absenteeism, turnover, and
commitment to an organization, opportunities surely exist for a win-win
solution to be found .this also depends partly on leadership from far-sighted
executives in individual companies. Challenges faced by the government include
finding a policy mix that better support the objective of work-life balance.
The mix might include regulation, education, financial incentives and support
for further research. Governments also have an important role to play in
setting an example of other employees.
of challenges of work-life balance has made the employers to adopt HR
practices. If we cannot find a way to change workplace practices to achieve
better work-life balance, we risk the possibility of some combination of
reduced labor force participation and further cutbacks in personal and family
aging of the baby boom cohorts and its implication are debated. In particular,
there is disagreement as to whether the aging of the workforce is likely to
generate widespread skill shortage. Some especially employers who rely on
skilled tradespeople have argued that severe skill shortages are unlikely to be
the serious problem because younger cohorts are more likely skilled than their
predecessors and there is plenty of opportunities for the older worker to work
longer. However, some policy needs seem clear regardless of how skill shortage
debate is resolved. For example, it is surely desirable, regardless of the
level of immigration, to enable immigrants to fully utilize their skills, through, for example,
measures that facilitate the recognition of their credentials or the speedy
acquisition of Canadian credentials. It also seems clear that, with aging
population and life expectancies, we need policies that facilitate people
continuing to work into their retirement years. This is desirable both from the
point view of the society, to sustain the producer-consumer ratio and from the
point of view of the individual in helping people stay active and utilize their
skills and knowledge.
More generally it is clear that the old pattern of full-time school
followed by full-time work followed by full-time retirement no longer works in
an aging society characterized by the need for continuous upgrading of skills,
Canada needs a more flexible approach to work and learning over the life cycle.
IDENTIFYING AND SUPPORT WORKPLACE PRACTICES THAT
PROMOTE EMPLOYEE HEALTH
Research is emerging that establishes
casual links between human resources practices of employers and health outcomes
of employees. The government has a role to play in ensuring that the key
findings of this research are widely accessible in encouraging employers to
adopt healthy policies and in behaving as model employers in this regard. They
also need to ensure that the broader public sector like schools, universities,
college, hospitals has the resource needed to implement such policies.
and wellness programs for the workplace are not just for big companies and are
just employee perks. There are numerous studies and statistics that show that
promoting health and wellness in the workplace benefits both the employees and
According to the global business and economic
*an estimate of 7.5million Canadian-each year,
every year-actually suffer depression, anxiety, substance abuse or another
*the cost to the Canadian economy from workplace
stress, depression and mental illness is 35 million lost workdays and an
estimated $35 billion in lost productivity annually.
The globalization of the economy and changes in demographics and
technology continue to be powerful forces of change in Canadian labor markets.
Key labor market challenges that Canada going to face for next five to ten
years include assisting vulnerable workers, achieving better work-life balance
and identifying and addressing implications of societal aging as the need for
more flexible approaches to retirement and the importance of lifelong learning.