Canada’s job market is constantly evolving, from legal changes to new technology. In this article, we’ll look at some emerging trends that could shape the future of work in Canada.
Women have been leading the charge in real wage growth, boasting higher increases at lower levels of earning. This trend is expected to persist for several decades into the future.
1. Severance Packages
Under the Employment Standards Act (ESA), employers are required to pay severance compensation to employees upon termination. The amount of severance is based on length of service, age, and other factors which might make it more difficult for an employee to find comparable employment.
Severance payments can be tax-efficient in nature and may be paid as either a lump sum or salary continuation.
However, how a severance package is allocated often has significant repercussions for CPP and EI deductions. A knowledgeable severance lawyer can help you craft an advantageous tax-wise package that meets your financial requirements.
Additionally, severance pay can affect an employee’s eligibility to collect unemployment benefits. This is because severance packages are considered earnings and thus extend the waiting period before an employee can collect EI benefits.
2. Workplace Wellness
Workplace Wellness is a rapidly rising trend that’s impacting Canada’s employment market. It seeks to promote a healthy workplace through healthcare initiatives.
A successful workplace wellness culture fosters employee morale, encourages healthy habits, and reduces stress levels. Not only that, but increasing your employees’ happiness and positivity may also result in lower turnover rates.
Enhancing the workplace environment can boost productivity by encouraging employees to feel engaged, motivated, and productive. Furthermore, it will give your company a competitive edge in the labor market.
Though the advantages of workplace wellness programs are well known, some businesses still doubt their cost-effectiveness. Recent studies have revealed that while these initiatives can improve productivity and save money, they do not actually reduce healthcare expenses.
3. Remote Work
Employers are increasingly turning to remote work as a way to attract and retain diverse talent. Engineers, customer service representatives, or salespersons can now work from home with success.
Though remote work has its challenges, research has also demonstrated that it can actually improve job quality and well-being in the short term. Workers who work from home tend to report higher satisfaction with aspects of their jobs such as independence, respect from coworkers, how they do their job, job security, work-family balance, and meaningful tasks.
Remote workers’ employment rates were lower than their non-remote counterparts, with an especially sharp drop in those with a high school diploma (down to less than 10% by December 2021) and some industries such as utilities and accommodation/food services. This disparity could be due to both the restrictions imposed and the messages policymakers conveyed to people within these sectors.
4. Contract Negotiations
The federal public service is facing an unprecedented period of labor uncertainty, with 27 out of 29 collective agreements expiring. Meanwhile, CUPE and the Ontario government are engaged in a fierce dispute over wage increases; CUPE wants an 11.7% year-over-year pay rise while the government only offers a few percent.
Given the rising cost of living, CUPE’s demand for a COLA is likely to increase. Furthermore, PSAC is advocating for improved work-life balance for remote workers with “right-to-disconnect” provisions that give them the choice not to answer calls or texts after work.
Contract negotiations can be a protracted affair, usually taking several months or even years. During this period, both the employer and union meet to discuss issues and propose changes, with the ultimate aim of reaching a tentative agreement. After this stage has been reached, members are then asked to vote whether they approve or disapprove the proposed deal at a formal vote.