Employment & Labour

Millennial grads face reality of part-time, contract work

(April 10, 2017 — Toronto) — With thousands of millennials about to graduate this spring from Canadian universities and colleges, a new group of young adults will face the reality of part-time and contract work. It’s a stark contrast to the full-time employment enjoyed by previous generations.

According to Statistics Canada, the rate of full-time employment (1976-1978) averaged 76 per cent for men aged 17 to 24 and 58 per cent for women in the same age group. However, from 2014 to 2016 the corresponding numbers were 59 per cent for men and 49 per cent for women.

“The new reality is that millennials are faced with different career options. Many are offered part-time and contract work – unlike their parents who were able to obtain full-time employment,” notes Natalie MacDonald, co-founder and managing partner, Toronto, Rudner MacDonald LLP. “What we tell employers and millennials is to know your rights and responsibilities.”

In Ontario, the Liberal government’s Changing Workplaces Review is focusing on the new world of work millennials face. While investigating all issues related to labour law, it will review: employers’ responsibilities to contract workers; sick pay; overtime; and, how workers can join unions.

Here, Rudner MacDonald LLP outlines what employers and employees need to know in regards to part-time and contract work:

  • If an employer renews a contract with an employee without a discussion and without negotiation then it’s an indefinite contract and provides the employee with the same rights and protections as a full-time employee.
  • Beware of the "Uberization" of work, where employees are described as independent contractors but are treated and expected to perform as employees. Independent contractors have little job security and no benefits. However, some companies are misclassifying their employees and could face a lawsuit.
  • Part-time employees have all the same rights and protections as a full-time employee (i.e. overtime pay and statutory holidays).
  • There is no law that states part-time workers are not entitled to benefits. This is something that is negotiated between an employee and employer and benefits can be allocated to both part and full-time workers.

“The nature of work has changed and it is important to address this new reality, with both employees and employers informed on their rights and responsibilities,” adds Stuart Rudner, co-founder, Rudner MacDonald LLP.

About Rudner MacDonald LLP

Rudner MacDonald LLP www.rudnermacdonald.com is a boutique employment law firm working with employees and employers. Co-founded by Natalie MacDonald and Stuart Rudner, both have written critically-acclaimed books embraced by courts and members of the bar. Natalie MacDonald is the author of ‘Extraordinary Damages in Canadian Employment Law’. Stuart Rudner is the author of ‘You’re Fired! Just Cause for Dismissal in Canada’.

For further information on Rudner MacDonald LLP or to interview Stuart Rudner or Natalie MacDonald, please contact Teresa Donia at iAMBIC Communications, 905-508-5550 or teresa@iambic.ca

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