The traditional model of job security: full time, having a single employer, has given way in the last few decades to an increase in flexibility and employment insecurity. Québécois occupying atypical jobs have more than doubled in the last 30 years. Are you in this category?
Are you unionized?
The job security offered to union workers has its share of privileges: guaranteed not to be fired for missed work, priority placements for vacant positions, and support in case of position abolishment.
Do you rely more on seniority than colleagues?
All collective agreements are drafted based on the seniority model. Even if this principle is set to change, it gives employers an objective and measurable norm.
Are you reliable?
Marianne Plamondon, MBA, CRHA, and junior counsel at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada, emphasizes, “Employers with non-unionized employees have the most power on firing criteria and most of the time performance comes before seniority.”
Does your industry have a labour shortage?
The more essential you become to a business, based on your skills and qualifications, the better your job security becomes, especially during a labour shortage.
Are you on a fixed-term or temporary employee contract?
If a company hires you to handle a temporary work increase or to cover for an employee on leave, your situation might be precarious, unless you end up hired on permanently. You might be in an unstable situation unless you end up hired on permanently.
Do you work involuntary part-time work?
Because the risks accrued from leaving jobs are usually related to part-time jobs, unlike full-time jobs, they are usually worked to fill career gaps. Also take note of any difficulties to return to full-time work or of any barriers of entry.
Do you work a seasonal or cyclical job?
The majority of seasonal and cyclical employees do not have employee benefits and often live without revenue between the end of their unemployment insurance benefits and when they return to work.
Do you work multiple jobs?
Accumulating many part-time or on-call jobs is sometimes necessary to overcome financial insecurity, but unfortunately it does not provide job security because it is just the sum of many unstable jobs.
Do you work an invisible job?
Illegal work, undeclared work, and live-in caregiver work paid under the table, although exceptional arrangements, are considered unstable work.
Even though many atypical jobs bring their share of flexibility, often facilitating a work-family or work-study balance, it is important to protect yourself and to know your rights when it doesn’t go in your favour. Prevention is better than treatment.
Commission des normes du travail: http://www.cnt.gouv.qc.ca/accueil/index.html
Au bas de l’échelle: http://www.aubasdelechelle.ca/
Syndicat de la fonction publique et parapublique du Québec: http://www.sfpq.qc.ca/