Precarious employment and the internal responsibility system

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Dr. Wayne Lewchuk
School of Labour Studies and Department of Economics, McMaster University

Research over the last few years has advanced our understanding of the impact of precarious employment on health. Approaches such as the Employment Strain Model developed by Lewchuk, Clarke and deWolff point to the interaction between employment uncertainty, effort finding and keeping employment, and support at work as key determinants of the health outcomes of workers in precarious employment. At the same time, workers in precarious employment face a health and safety regulatory system that was designed at time when the standard employment relationship was the norm and unions had some influence in Canadian workplaces. This presentation will use our understanding of how work affects the health of precarious workers to explore the limitations of the existing health and safety regulatory framework. Much of the discussion will focus on the kinds of policies and initiatives that will improve the health of those in precarious employment.