Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Monday, May 28, 2012

Income Security

To the extent that career developers help people to find suitable jobs we are enhancing the world's economic efficiency by introducing resources sooner. Many of the world's countries also have employment insurance systems that are intended not only to prevent wasteful individual financial difficulties, or actual hardship, but also to afford time for people to again find suitable jobs that optimise their contributions to the economy, as reflected in their incomes. There is one other system of measures that a country can provide to stabilise its work force that we seldom hear about. I refer to the one that provides for employment protection.

According to the OECD1 Canada has some of the slenderest measures for the protection of employment in the world. Of those countries listed to the left only the United States provides less protection. Please see the chart to the left.

blue: Protection of individual workers against (individual) dismissal
red: Specific requirements for collective dismissal
yellow: Regulation on temporary forms of employment

This limited protection means that employees can be dismissed more easily by employers in countries at the top of the list. It might also mean that people seeking employment, or in employment, in these countries are likely to feel an imperative to be more 'flexible' in their relations with employers. One of the dangers of putting excessive power into the hands of employers might be the tendency for them to act in haste when dismissing someone, without thought for the costs of rehiring or the reasons for the failure that has occurred.

I also notice that, at least according to the OECD, Canada has fewer provisions for the protection of the employment of temporary workers than any of the other countries listed. If, as has been suggested, the Canadian government moves to invite more international temporary workers then this could have the effect of depressing the already low standard for all workers in this country. Which is something to think about.