Most academic labour lawyers in Canada are used to focussing their attention on the "traditional" employment relationship in which workers are more or less permanently employed by a single employer and regularly work forty or so hours per week. This paper focusses attention on the "Baker Street irregulars" of the labour market, to use a Sherlockian analogy.
In this paper the authors look at the evidence of increased employee ownership in Canada. Employee ownership of a company may involve a 100 percent buyout to avoid closure, a transfer of ownership to employees (e.g., at the retirement of the owner), or the establishment of a company stock purchase plan. The paper looks at case studies of seven employee-owned firms in Canada. The studies show that employee ownership has meant survival, a return to profitability, and in many situations continued growth for these companies.