Thursday, August 12, 2010

Precarious work and injury compensation

A recent study in the American journal of industrial medicine examined whether particular groups of labor force participants were more or less likely to receive compensation following an absence from work of one week or longer due to a work-related injury or illness.

The study "Differences in access to wage replacement benefits for absences due to work-related injury or illness in Canada" concludes that women, younger workers, recent immigrants, part-time employees, employees with shorter job tenures, those from small workplaces, and those who were not members of a union or collective bargaining agreements were all less likely to receive any form of income replacement during their work absence. While the authors do not explicitly tie the results to the concept of precarious work, these groups workers and/or job characteristics are frequently associated with precarious employment.

The study also highlight the importance of legislated employment rights to specific subgroups of workers. Recent immigrants, younger workers, or workers with short job tenure were unlikely to receive any employer-benefits during absences caused by workplace injuries other than workers' compensation. Overall, approximately 50% of the study's subjects receive no
workers’ compensation income and just over 20% received no compensation whatsoever during their absence.

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