Challenging New Governance: Evaluating New Approaches To Employment Standards Enforcement In Common Law Contexts

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 8:45 AM
Room: Booth 41
Oral Presentation
Leah VOSKO , Political Science, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada
John GRUNDY , Political Science, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON, Canada
Mark THOMAS , Sociology, York University, ON, Canada
A mounting crisis in employment standards enforcement is prompting experimentation in common law contexts with new instruments aiming to improve workplace regulation. This experimentation across all stages of the enforcement process indicates the increasing influence of ‘new governance’. Focusing on reforms in five jurisdictions, this paper raises serious cautions around ‘new governance’ styled enforcement mechanisms, demonstrating that, put into practice, enforcement models
envisioned in the new governance literature fail to account adequately for the power dynamics of the employment relationship. Furthermore, assumptions about the inevitable collapse of state enforcement capacity are premature and can impede strategies for more effective ES regulation.