A new paper by Andrea M. Noack, Alice Hall, and Leah F. Vosko, published in Canadian Public Policy, highlights issues related to employment standards violations in Ontario.
In Ontario, as in many other jurisdictions, employment standards enforcement includes reactively investigating employee complaints and, to a lesser extent, proactively inspecting workplaces. Analyses of administrative data from Ontario’s Ministry of Labour (MOL) show that the use of complaint data to inform workplace inspections is quite limited. Strict adherence to the MOL’s procedures for workplace inspections is not conducive to the investigation of some of the most common empirical complaints. Accordingly, the paper argues for more strategic enforcement by making greater use of complaint data to guide workplace inspections triggered by complaints and for the increased use of penalties in these inspections.