Precarious employment, food security and mental health are often misunderstood. Through this journey, you will explore what it is like to work through temporary positions and how that affects London's youth.

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Factory Who provides at least 30 hours of employment a week; Who pays  benefits as well as a wage; and With whom they expect to be working a year from now.
The Law Commission of Ontario defines precarious work as “Any individual who is earning a low wage and meets two of the three on the following list: no union, no pension, small firm size.
20% of employment relationships share at least some of the characteristics of precarious employment
Standard Employment Relationship is important because the majority of our labour, employment and social policies in Ontario are designed to support those working in these kind of Jobs.
Meet Maya, a woman who has been dealing with job instability since she graduated college eight years ago.
Precarious work is “characterized by job instability, lack of benefits, low wages and lack of control over the process (e.g., little say in employer-employee relationship). It may also involve greater potential for injury.
According to a study by PEPSO/McMaster University and The United Way: At least 20% of those working are in precarious forms of employment
Maya’s first job out of college began as a 9 month contract position, however that meant she did not receive benefits.
Maya hoped the company would hire her full time once she fulfilled the contract. However, her boss called her into his office and said the company did not have a position for her.
Maya’s coworker, George, suggested she try out a temporary agency. She decided it was her only option and so she continues her journey with precarious work.
Maya discussed with the temp agency what her chances of getting fulltime employment were. They said Ontario’s employment was changing. The former standard employment relationship characterized by full-time, secure employment, in which a worker has access to good wages, good working conditions and benefits, was no longer the norm.
The Poverty and Employment Precarity in Southern Ontario (PESPO) is the leading voice on employment precarity. They note that employment precarity exists on a spectrum and cannot be absolutely defined. They created an employment precarity index that measures employment situations against the Standard Employment Relationship (SER).
For the purpose of the PEPSO report people were considered to be in a Standard Employment Relationship if they were with an employer:
Who provides at least 30 hours of employment a week;
Who provides at least 30 hours of employment a week;
With whom they expect to be working a year from now.
Maya never received benefits at her temporary positions or contract position. She barely worked 25 hours a week and would be let go when the company could no longer afford to keep her
Is this an issue?
Maya has been working contract and temporary positions for 8 years and has yet to see this trend decline.
She will continue on a path of temporary positions as this type of employment has increased by 50% in the past 20 years.
As Maya continues on this path she realizes her finances are limited, but she cannot go into self-employment because she lacks the resources.
The percentage of the working age population with a full time job plummeted to 45.9% a decrease of 6.5% points. This decrease is well in excess of both Ontario and Canadian averages.
Had the full-time employment rate not changed over the decade, we would have seen a number of individuals, like Maya, with a full-time job increase by 22,000. However, it decreased by 5,700 creating a job gap of 27,700 jobs.
The full time job Maya always wanted after college becomes a thing of the past
The house that Maya always dreamed of may never become reality.
The Poverty Research Centre will work with local partners in creating meaningful solutions and awareness on the issue of precarious employment as it directly effects the social, cultural, and economic well-being of all Londoners.