June 08, 2009

June 8, 2009

Labour Law and the New Inequality

The current posting on Doorey’s Workplace Law blog features a recent paper by Michael S. Lynk , Law professor at University of Western Ontario, that was given for the 2009 Ivan C. Rand Memorial Lecture, held by the University of New Brunswick Law School. The paper looks at the relationships between income and wealth inequality, eroding levels of unionization and Canada’s stagnant labour laws. The UNB Law School also has a digital archive on the Hon. Ivan C. Rand.

SSNR Paper, posted June 4, 2009

Hon. Ivan C. Rand Digital Archive, Gerard V, La Forest Law Library, University of New Brunswick


Rainbow Ready: LGBT-inclusive workplaces

Catalyst, the nonprofit member organization working to build inclusive workplaces and expand opportunities for women and business, has recently released several reports on LGBT Inclusion in the workplace. Building LGBT-Inclusive Workplaces: Engaging Organizations and Individuals in Change focuses on the personal workplace experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees in Canada. The report notes that even with the supportive legal framework in Canada, many barriers still exist in the workplace for LGBT employees.

Report, June 2009, by Christine Silva and Anika K. Warren (40 pages, PDF).

Press Release, June 3, 2009

Supporting LGBT Inclusion: A How-To Guide for Organizations and Individuals focus on the creation and maintenance of LGBT-inclusive workplaces is a guide that provides information on how to support LGBT inclusion in the workplace for employees at all levels. 
This document is only available to members of Catalyst

For more information on the LGBT population in the workplace, please refer to the following “Quick Take” reports published by Catalyst that provide helpful stats and terminology necessary for understanding LGBT-inclusive workplaces.

Gender Identity Issues in the Workplace, May 2009 (3 pages, PDF)

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in the Workplace, May 2009 (3 pages, PDF)

Don’t forget Pride Week in Toronto runs from June 19th –28th


Toronto’s DiverseCity Counts

A report by DiverseCity Counts, highlighting the number of visible minorities in senior leadership roles in the GTA, has been released. The report titled, DiverseCity Counts Report: A Snapshot of Diversity in The Greater Toronto Area: The first annual research report measuring diversity among leaders, 2009 is based upon a three-year research project conducted by Ryerson’s Diversity Institute. The research focuses on the municipalities with the highest proportions of visible minorities: Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Markham and Richmond Hill. Together they account for almost 4 million people or 72.5 per cent of the GTA’s population, of which 49.5 percent are visible minorities.

DiverseCity Counts Report: A Snapshot of Diversity in the Greater Toronto Area The first annual research report measuring diversity among leaders, May 27, 2009 (68 pages, PDF)

DiverseCity Counts Report website

DiverseCity Greater: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project website

Toronto Star, June 6, 2009: Diversity a work in progress


Ontario Human Rights Commission

The OHRC has released their 2009-2012 business plan. The major objective of the plan is to “educate, empower and mobilize partners in communities across the province to raise awareness, help them identify their concerns and implement solutions.”

OHRC 2009-2012 Business Plan, June 5, 2009 (30 pages, PDF)


The sanofi-aventis Healthcare Survey 2009

The 12th edition of the sanofi-aventis Healthcare Survey recommends that companies balance current pressures with the short and longer-term need for organizational performance and employee productivity rather than cutting health benefit spending. This survey of over 2,000 health benefit plan members examines their attitudes and preferences in employer sponsored health care plans.

Survey, May 27, 2009 (28 pages, PDF – click on download)

Press release: recession not the Time to Trim Health Benefits, May 27, 2009 (4 pages, PDF)


Say on Pay

Mercer has released an Executive Remuneration Perspective paper titled, Is ‘say on pay’ here to stay? What to do now.The article reviews the current state of the say-on-pay initiative in Canada and looks at whether companies should adopt such a policy and, if so, how it should be implemented.

Executive Remuneration Perspective, May 28, 2009 (10 pages, PDF click on “download the perspective”)


Severance and Change-in-Control Practices

A report titled, Severance and Change-in-Control Practices, released by WorldatWork and Innovative Compensation and Benefits Concepts LLC looks at how companies are trying to survive what several experts have called the deepest recession since the Great Depression. Many companies have identified their most immediate cost-cutting weapon to be the reduction in force (RIF) or layoff. This report looks at how to design an effective and responsible severance and CIC program.

Report, May 2009 (19 pages, PDF)


A Look at Downsizing

Five experts from Watson Wyatt discuss workforce reductions from several different standpoints including communication, budgetary implications, workforce planning and alternative measures.

Strategy@Work: Consultants Roundtable, May 2009


Effectiveness of Short-Term Incentive Programs

The first phase of Mercer‘s research study on the design and effectiveness of short term incentive programs was jointly conducted with Prof. Charles Fay from Rutgers University. Over 120 Canadian organizations participated in the study with representation for most major business segments. The first phase of the study focused on the design of short term incentive plans and the second will examine the effectiveness of these programs. The final results will be published later this year. A brief summary of results is currently available on Mercer’s website.

Mercer, June 3, 2009: Managing short term incentives in difficult times by Michael A. Thompson


Business Innovation in Canada

The Council of Canadian Academies was asked by the Minister of Industry to assess the fundamental factors that influence innovation behaviour and, as a consequence, drive the long-term growth of productivity in Canada. The Council has released an abridged version of its report titled, Innovation and Business Strategy: Why Canada Falls Short. The report looks at why Canadian business is lagging in innovation behind that of the U.S. and other countries. Jim Stanford, A CAW economist commented on this report in a recent Globe and Mail article. Innovation and Business Strategy: Why Canada Falls Short - Full report to be released in June 2009

Report in Focus (abridged version of report) (28 pages, PDF)

Presentation - Canada's Innovation Gap Estimating its Size; Explaining its Causes (39 pages, PDF)

Globe and Mail, June 08, 2009: Corporate Canada's enemy lurks within: A lack of innovation is to blame for our stagnant business environment. It's time for the private sector to get creative, by Jim Stanford


Management, Business and Finance Research

The Council of Canadian Academies was asked to provide an assessment of the overall strengths and weaknesses of management, business, and finance research in Canada in order to identify opportunities where strategic investment could result in a significant impact. The assessment was requested by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada in response to the Government of Canada’s 2007 allocation of $11 million per year to support multi-disciplinary, collaborative research in these areas. The report is now available.

Better Research for Better Business - Full report (53 pages, PDF)

Report in Focus (abridged version) (4 pages, PDF)

News release May 25, 2009


Earning Power of University Education

In an e-brief from the C.D Howe Institute titled, Extra Earning Power: The Financial Returns to University Education in Canada, the authors find that getting a university degree offers substantial financial returns -- for women more so than men and for undergraduate degrees more so than advanced degrees. Recommendations as to level of government funding of post-secondary institutions are made.

Report, May 14, 2009 (7 pages, PDF)


New issue of International Productivity Monitor

The Centre for the Study of Living Standards has released the latest issue of the International Productivity Monitor.Seven articles are available in this issue, including a study that focuses on estimates of multifactor productivity for Canada and the provinces at an industry level.

New Estimates of Multifactor Productivity Growth for the Canadian Provinces (13 Pages, PDF)

International Productivity Monitor (Spring 2009) (complete issue)


Book of the Week

The Modernization of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in a Comparative Perspective: Bulletin of Comparative Labour Relations 70, edited by Roger Blanpain; guest editors William Bromwich ... [et al.] Alphen aaan den Rijn, The Netherlands : Kluwer Law International, 2009. 473 p. ISBN 978-90-411-2865-2

Not all labour law and industrial relations scholars agree on the efficacy of the comparative approach – that the analysis of measures adopted in other countries can play a constructive role in national and local policy-making. However, the case deserves to be heard, and no better such presentation has appeared than this remarkable book, the carefully considered work of over 40 well-known authorities in the field from a wide variety of countries including Australia, France, India, Israel, Peru, Poland, and South Africa. The volume contains papers delivered at a conference sponsored by the Marco Biagi Foundation at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in March 2008.

The essays shed light on how various jurisdictions are dealing with such unsettled (and unsettling) issues of employment in a globalized world as the following:

  • competing paradigms in international business theory;
  • major business site selection;
  • atypical employment contracts;
  • risks for employment posed by operations on the financial markets;
  • workfare/flexicurity programmes;
  • the fear of social dumping;
  • legitimization of employee representatives’ cooperation at transnational level;
  • the ‘rights’ rhetoric of the neoliberal agenda;
  • workplace-level evidence of outsourcing consequences;
  • social security protection and the informal economy; and
  • occupational health.

In addition, national experts present reports on specific developments in Spain, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Israel, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada, Chile, and Venezuela.

In its detailed investigation of labour and employment issues far beyond the confines of the nation-state, this book stands alone. The range and depth of the studies relating to the protection of workers’ rights, and the great variety of countries represented in geographical, linguistic, and political terms, make this book of far-reaching value to labour law and industrial relations specialists worldwide.


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Questions or Comments: contact us at cirhr.library@utoronto.ca.

Editor: Vicki Skelton
Designer: Nick Strupat

Copyright © 2008 Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, University of Toronto. All rights reserved.

Date posted: 
Monday, June 8, 2009