Understanding Employment Precarity and Its Impact in Niagara

Precarious employment is defined as work that is typically part-time, temporary, or contract, and often without longer-term job security and employment-based benefits. It is often called non-standard employment. To better understand employment precarity and its impact in Niagara, PEPiN (Poverty and Employment Precarity in Niagara), recently completed a research study and report, “Uncertain Jobs, Certain Impacts: Employment Precarity in Niagara”. PEPiN is an initiative lead by United Way Niagara and Brock University, made possible with funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

In an effort to replicate similar studies conducted in other Ontario cities by the Poverty and Employment Precarity in Southern Ontario (PEPSO) research group, the PEPiN study analyzed survey results from a random sampling of 713 employed Niagara residents in the summer of 2017. PEPiN contracted Leger, the same survey research group which conducted the other PEPSO studies, to survey participants on their experience with precarious work, mental health, general health, and overall quality of life.

After evaluating answers to survey questions completed by phone interviews, results indicated that precarious employment has a significant impact on the individuals, families and communities it touches, and that these impacts are indeed widespread and pervasive in Niagara. In fact, statistics gathered to inform the PEPiN study show that:

  • Only forty-eight percent of all workers in the 12 local-area municipalities of Niagara region have stable, secure full-time jobs resulting from what is called a standard employment relation (SER). All other employees are working in situations with some measure of precariousness. This includes jobs without benefits and jobs with uncertain futures.
  • In Niagara, precarity has been most prevalent among young adults (25-34 years of age), older adults, and foreign-born individuals who have been in Canada 20 or fewer years. However, precarity is found among all demographic groups.
  • In Niagara, being precariously employed is has the most significant effects when you’re earning a low income — and it’s found across all income levels, hurting everyone who experiences it.
  • Precarious employment has a harmful effect on individuals, children and families. It can damage the social fabric that ties together our communities because it makes it more difficult for people to form relationships and plan spending time with family and friends.
  • Employer-provided health benefits are a regular feature of secure work but are very rare among precarious workers.
    Study results also revealed critical information about the relationship between precarious employment and health, and indicated important demographic trends with regards to precarious work. Finally, the report concludes with a list of recommendations, aimed at government and employers, to reduce the incidence of precarious employment and to mitigate its impacts.

This research project is an important first step and I encourage you to consider how your own organization can use this information in an evidence-informed decision-making process to encourage meaningful action.

Lori Kleinsmith
Health Promoter, Bridges Community Health Centre
lori.kleinsmith@bridgeschc.ca

Additional Resources
BLOG | Getting Hard Data in Niagara on the Hard Truth of Employment Uncertainty
REPORT | Uncertain Jobs, Certain Impacts: Employment Precarity in Niagara
ADDITIONAL REPORTS FROM PEPSO | Reports on precarious employment research from other communities

Niagara Knowledge Exchange & Community Calendar

Nov
16
Fri
Christmas Fundraiser in Support of the May Court Club of St. Catharines @ Fairview Mall
Nov 16 all-day

Visit the Fairview Mall to enjoy the May Court Club’s display of fully decorated trees and other seasonal items. Buy your tickets for a chance to win a Christmas tree to remember! All proceeds go to help women and children in the Niagara region.

This fundraiser runs until December 7, 2018.

The May Court Club is a women’s service organization dedicated to addressing the needs of the community, primarily those of women and children, through volunteerism and fundraising.

This event is hosted by the May Court Club of St. Catharines.

Women in Business Awards @ Marriott on the Falls
Nov 16 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

The Women in Business Awards recognize the leadership and success of women in our business community. The WIBAs aim to encourage more women to seek out and reach for leadership roles in business, politics and our community. Join the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the stories of women in business in Niagara.

Nominations are now closed. Stay tuned for the list of finalists!

This event is hosted by the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce.

Nov
19
Mon
Blockchain Basics for Corporate Applications @ Online
Nov 19 all-day

Cybercrime and data thefts are on the rise. Make sure you or your company/IT team has the latest up-to-date training, to detect cyber threats, and eliminate attempts at stealing your client’s data.

Just outside of the cybersecurity hub Washington D.C., Stratford University has offered degree programs since 1976. Their highly qualified professors have trained many professionals from high end security firms including the C.I.A. and F.B.I. They have created custom content for these certificates.

These training certificates include 30 hours of online, instructor led training over 15 days, with zero company time off required.

These certificates are offered by Spark Technical Academy.

Human Trafficking Training @ Four Points by Sheraton
Nov 19 @ 8:30 am – Nov 20 @ 5:00 pm

Larissa Maxwell, Director of the Salvation Army Anti-Human Trafficking Program (British Columbia), is coming to Niagara to share her experiences and extensive knowledge of Human Trafficking.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • Overview of trauma sensitive approaches/stories of hope
  • Human trafficking: definitions, terminology, focus on labour & sexual exploitation, spectrums within exploitation, criminal & civil justice, youth recruitment, immigration provisions & foreign nationals, warning signs & indicators
  • Exploitation Dynamics: appeasement versus consent, impact to sense of self & feeling profane, tension of two truths, case studies, exploitation equation, internal/external chaos, when the victim victimizes, caretaking tendencies
  • Best Practices: healing the cycles of shame and the exploitation equation compassionate challenge approach, case management approaches, new science of post traumatic growth & indicators of resiliency, best practices learned nationally

This training is hosted by Bethesda Services.

Durable by Design: Physical Literacy and Older Adults @ Niagara Region Headquarters - Community Education Room
Nov 19 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

For the first time, there are more Canadians over the age of 65 than under the age of 15.

Because Canadians are living longer, and our quality of life depends on staying physically active, developing and maintaining physical literacy can be the key to resilience – reducing the effects of falls, injuries, and illness.

This half day workshop will introduce participants to a new training program designed to integrate physical literacy development into activity for older adults. The activities presented can be easily implemented by a recreation leader or health care worker. Workshop participants will be introduced to the concepts of physical literacy and encouraged to try activities that create durability.

If you are a recreation leader, health care worker, exercise specialist or volunteer who care about the importance of quality programming for older adults please register for one of the free workshops offered below at Niagara Region Community Education Room, 1815 Sir Isaac Brock Way, Thorold.

  • Friday, October 26, 2018: 9:00 – 1:00
  • Friday, November 09, 2018 12:30 – 4:30
  • Monday, November 19, 2018 9:00 – 1:00
  • Monday, November 26, 2018 12:30 – 4:30

These workshops are hosted by Sport For Life Canada.

Let’s Talk Waste Niagara: Thorold Open House @ Niagara Region Headquarters
Nov 19 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Niagara Region’s next waste collection contract (garbage, recycling and organics) for homes and businesses receiving Regional curbside collection is set to begin by 2021.

Proposed options being considered are:

  • Every-other-week garbage collection, with weekly recycling and organics collection, for all properties outside the Designated Business Areas. Garbage container (bag / can) limits would double.
  • Mandatory use of clear bags for garbage for all properties (inside and outside Designated Business Areas)
  • Establish a four item limit, per collection, for large items
  • Discontinue appliances and scrap metal curbside collection
  • Change weekly, base garbage container limits for businesses and mixed-use properties located inside Designated Business Areas from seven to four
  • Change weekly garbage container limits for mixed-use properties located outside Designated Business Areas from six to four

During the consultation period, residents have three ways to provide their feedback on the proposed options being considered. An online survey is available for residents or businesses. Open houses and community booths are being hosted across Niagara. Attend an open house to hear a presentation and ask staff questions, or visit a community booth and ask staff questions.

This open house is hosted by Niagara Region.

Nov
20
Tue
West Niagara: Shared Learning Local Hub Session @ Employment Help Centre
Nov 20 @ 9:30 am

Shared Learning Local Hub sessions are being held in 5 areas across Niagara for front-line community service and outreach workers to:

  • Connect for shared learning;
  • Share ideas and best practice information to enable client success; and
  • Strengthen relationships concerning clients’ access to services and benefits.

Presentations:

  • Nola Burke-Wynne (Online Learning Recruitment Officer, Contact North)
  • Elisa Galle (Health Links Model Adopter, Niagara North West Health Link/Hamilton Health Sciences)

This meeting will include round table updates, time for networking, and sharing of materials and resources.

Please RSVP your attendance to flowe@employmenthelp.org.

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