Labour Market Policies in Denmark and Canada: Could Flexicurity be an Answer for Canadian Workers?
The labour market in Canada is changing. Over the past decades there has been an increase in the number of precarious workers on short-term, part-time, contracts; jobs are created and lost, as employers deem necessary. As a result of these shifts in the organization of work, many workers are now forced to hold multiple jobs in order to make ends meet. This move away from long-term employment has created a situation where the majority of Canadian workers can no longer expect their employer to provide predictable support and security for them. At the same time, under the current Employment Insurance (EI) laws, they cannot expect support from the federal government either. How can workers gain some immediate protection through expanded social welfare programmes? With more and more workers, especially women, racialized workers and lower income people relegated to precarious employment, we must question current social policy. If, as it appears, EI does not work, we must strive to implement a viable alternative. Could an alternative system be modeled on the flexicurity system now in effect in Denmark? This paper draws on Nancy Fraser’s criteria for social justice for the globalized worker, to assess the ways that flexicurity could improve the security of the Canadian worker by offering alternatives to participation in the market nexus.
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