The Canadian labour market has been rapidly evolving. From a world in which the standard employment relationship was based on the ideal of full-time, full-year, continuous employment, we are moving toward a regime in which employers are less willing to make long-term commitments and in which part-time and temporary work are becoming more common. This change poses a challenge for labour and employment law, which was developed on the model of the standard employment relation. As a result, not only is labour and employment law in a state of flux, but it is arguably the case that the law has not adequately responded to the challenges posed by this changing reality.
This seminar examines contemporary issues in Canadian employment and labour law and policy and provides students with an opportunity to conduct supervised research on topic addressing labour and/or employment law reform. Policy analysis and evaluation will be emphasized, taking into account theoretical, historical and empirical perspectives. This will include focusing on identifying and assessing the underlying goals of labour and employment law, evaluating whether the existing law meets these objectives, and considering alternatives for reform. Particular topics to be addressed include: digital labour and gig work; minimum standard-setting in employment; and, alternative models for collective worker representation and bargaining.
This seminar is open to law students in both second and third year.