Back to Work: Canada
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Back to Work: Canada

Improving the Re-employment Prospects of Displaced Workers

Job displacement (involuntary job loss due to firm closure or downsizing) affects many workers over their lifetime. Displaced workers may face long periods of unemployment and, even when they find new jobs, tend to be paid less than in their prior jobs. Helping them get back into good jobs quickly should be a key goal of labour market policy. This report looks at how this challenge is being tackled in Canada. While the Canadian government uses several measures to prevent unnecessary layoffs, the focus is placed on assisting workers after they have lost their job via the Employment Insurance system and the core labour market programmes operated by the Provinces. Re-employment assistance tailored to meet the specific needs of displaced workers also plays a useful role, but needs to be reinforced so as to start the adjustment process earlier for workers receiving advance notice or a large severance payment and to reach  workers affected by small-scale displacements. Targeted programmes for older displaced workers with long-tenure who are hardest hit have yet to reach a large share of this group.

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Preventing excessive displacements and early intervention policies in Canada You do not have access to this content

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Author(s):
OECD

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This chapter describes and assesses the most important programmes that take effect before workers are dismissed. Measures to prevent excessive job displacements are discussed first, including measures to anticipate restructuring or future changes in the labour market; the rules governing hiring and firing of workers; and the use of Short-Time Work schemes. The chapter then discusses the role of private and public early interventions that provide workers who will be displaced with an early start at finding a suitable new job. Overall provincial governments provide sound re-employment support to workers affected by mass layoffs that is tailored to this group’s specific needs as soon as they are laid-off. This assistance plays a useful role but needs to be reinforced so as to start the adjustment process earlier for workers receiving advance notice or a large severance payment and to reach workers affected by small-scale displacements.

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