The new economy is generating profound changes in the workplace, both in Canada and abroad. Among the most significant are: the move towards post-industrial, service-based work; increased contracting out and off-shoring of work as a result of greater economic integration; the decline of the 'standard employment relationship' based upon full-time, long-term work, with regular hours and benefits and the rise of part-time work, contract work and self-employment, much of which is 'precarious'; an increasingly feminized and diverse work force; and increasing economic inequality. It is well-recognized that many existing workplace laws are not well-adapted to the new economy. For example, many employees have no meaningful access to collective bargaining; some of the most vulnerable workers are beyond the reach of labour and employment law entirely; and workers increasingly struggle to balance the competing pressures of work and family. At the same time, employers are pushing for greater flexibility in the employment relationship in order to better position themselves in a dynamic and uncertain economy. How well these challenges are understood and addressed in law and public policy are important not only to firms and workers; they are also central to competitiveness and efficiency concerns, questions of social justice and equity, and the pursuit of economic security and welfare for the public at large.
This seminar is designed to explore the regulatory and policy responses to these challenges. It will also serve as a general introduction to the structure and operation of the Canadian legal system, including the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the common law, statutory regulation, and judicial review of administrative decisions. We will consider specific legal and policy challenges in the following areas: outsourcing and labour migration, including temporary low skill migration; collective bargaining in the public and private sectors; skill acquisition and human capital; diversity and equality; pension reform; the regulation of global supply chains; and working time and work/family conflict.
Source: http://www.publicpolicy.utoronto.ca/mpp-core-outline (accessed 6 January 2014)