Canadian labor laws are not suited for current remote-work needs, according to a study by The Fraser Institute, an independent, nonpartisan Canadian think tank.
About 40 percent of Canadian workers teleworked during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, a percentage that also represents the current percent of the Canadian workforce that could work entirely from home, the study found. An additional 10 percent could work partially from home, it added.
The report forecasts that as many as 25 percent of Canadian workers will continue to work remotely post-pandemic.
Though telework is predicted to continue into the future, employment-standards legislation, workers’ compensation and health and safety regulations are ill-suited to the needs of telecommuters, the study said.
“Laws designed for large, structured businesses just don’t make sense when people are working from home. Employment standards regarding works hours and breaks, for example, are impossible to enforce when employees work remotely,” Jason Clemens, executive vice president of the Fraser Institute, said in the report.
The study recommends that policymakers avoid extending outdated regulations and focus on removing barriers — such as inflexible municipal zoning — that prevent even more telecommuting in Canada.