Employee Benefits and The Part-time Worker: Legal and Economic Issues

Labour Relations

Part-time employment now stands at 16.6% of total employment in Canada and therefore governments and employers can no longer afford to ignore the demands of part-time workers for improved wages and benefits.

This paper attempts to examine part-time employment from both a legal and economic perspective, looking at the extent of part-time employment, the compensation arrangements for part-time employees with particular emphasis on benefits other than wages, and the apparent inequities in these arrangements. The treatment of part-time workers under existing employment standards and collective bargaining legislation is reviewed and the potential impact of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is examined. Finally, the actual cost of prorating benefits for part-time workers or paying cash in lieu of benefits is examined within the framework of the model developed in 1982 by Reid and Swartz. Overall, the available data seems to indicate that these costs are not overly excessive.

Interpretation of the Charter, although uncertain at this point in time, may require governments to amend existing employment legislation as it pertains to part-time workers to eliminate any discriminatory elements, and consequently force employers to provide a full range of benefits on a prorated basis.

The time has come to recognize part-time workers as a distinct group and to provide equitable compensation in terms of wages, and especially benefits. This may result in a more satisfied workforce and have positive effects on productivity, turnover, and absenteeism, and thereby assist to a large degree in offsetting the increase in costs of providing the prorated benefits.

Download PDF: Employee Benefits and The Part-time Worker: Legal and Economic Issues

Receive email updates
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Learn more about the collection, use and disclosure of personal information at Queen’s University.

You May Also Like

ARTICLES

Workplace Restoration: An Interest-Focused Approach for Work Units or Teams
Labour Relations
Workplace Restoration: An Interest-Focused Approach for Work Units or Teams
Conflict that arises in organizations is complex and often driven by a multitude of factors unique to each situation....
Winning Hearts and Minds: Navigating Change in Turbulent Times
Organization Development
Winning Hearts and Minds: Navigating Change in Turbulent Times
We are navigating an era marked by profound transformation. The ramifications of climate change, rising living costs,...
3 Tips for Driving Engagement Through Inclusion in the Workplace
Human Resources
3 Tips for Driving Engagement Through Inclusion in the Workplace
We have all likely encountered the term “engagement” in the workplace, and most organizations emphasize the value...

PROGRAMS

Performance Coaching
Gain essential skills for building performance, growth, and accountability
Workplace Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Impactful EDI strategies to unleash workforce potential and maximize organizational success

Share this article

Page link
Copied!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Learn more about the collection, use and disclosure of personal information at Queen’s University.