Is an Employee’s Wellbeing a Human Right?

Employee Wellbeing – A Human Right

As Canada shifts into more of a post-pandemic world, employees’ views towards prioritizing their wellbeing at work has shifted as well. A recent poll suggested that almost 1 in 4 Canadians was planning to resign from their current employment or change jobs in the next year, and almost 9 out of 10 in the poll said that they feel as though “Employee Wellbeing” should be considered a human right.

Why Isn’t “Employee Wellbeing” Included as a Protected Ground?

Ontario’s Human Rights Code lays out a number of protected grounds that are deemed human rights. A person cannot be treated differently on the basis of these protected grounds.  These include things such as race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, medical disability, family status and more.  However, “employee wellbeing” does not fall under one of these protected grounds.  The reason for this is that the protected grounds are generally considered core parts of a person that they generally cannot change.  For that reason, it will not be given the same sort of protections as the protected grounds under the Human Rights Code.  However, employers would be wise to keep employee wellbeing at the forefront of business decisions given recent trends in how employees are prioritizing their wellbeing.

What Are the Consequences for Employers Who Neglect it?

In particular, younger employees are more likely to resign from a job if they do not feel that the workplace is good for their overall wellbeing.  A big part of this shift has come with the COVID-19 pandemic and people rethinking what is important to them.  Employers that focus too much on their bottom line to the detriment of employee wellbeing will start to see their employees resign to pursue opportunities with another company.

How Can Whitten & Lublin Assist with Employment-Related Legal Matters?

If you are an employee looking to better understand what human rights are protected or looking to leave a workplace that is not good for your wellbeing, we encourage you to seek legal advice to explore these matters.  We at Whitten & Lublin are happy to provide insight and advice into your specific circumstances.  If you are looking for employment lawyers and would like more information about what Whitten & Lublin can do for you, please contact us online or by phone at (416) 640-2667 today.

Author – Nasyr Asmi