Options for Vulnerable Workers

Vulnerable workers are those whose participation in the labour market leaves their well-being at risk because of difficulty accessing work that is decently paid and/or that offers conditions of work that meet basic social norms. Two million Canadian workers fit this description. Vulnerable workers typically earn low pay, lack the opportunity to upgrade skills, lack legal protection or are handicapped in terms of defending their rights, don’t qualify for programs like Employment Insurance, lack access to non-statutory benefits like medical insurance or dental plans, have difficulty obtaining affordable housing or affordable child care, and rarely belong to unions. The Canadian Policy Research Network (CPRN) has published a report: Policies to Boost the Income, Security and Productivity of Canada’s Vulnerable Workers. The press release, report summary, and full report (in PDF) can be downloaded from the Canadian Policy Research Network website.