Decent Work

Decent Work

Pensions  |  Bill 148  |  Decent Work for Women

Decent Work

Decent work in our sector

In Ontario, the nonprofit sector consists of over 55,000 organizations, employs 1 million people, and engages millions of volunteers. The decisions that individual nonprofit organizations make about employment have a dramatic and immediate impact on the labour market and on the sector’s ability to deliver on its community benefits objectives. Let’s grab the opportunity to be champions of decent work.


Job quality issues affect many of the sector’s employees, 80 percent of whom the ONN estimates are women workers. Issues include salaries and overtime pay; low levels of pension plan and benefits coverage; high rates of part-time and contract employment; underinvestment in training and development; and poor work-life balance. There is a need to improve working conditions for all while investigating the intersections between gender and labour – in the nonprofit sector and beyond. Championing and creating a decent work environment, including by ensuring decent work for women, implementing pensions and influencing workplace legislation, will improve employees’ work lives, employment relationships, the work environment, organizational performance, and sector effectiveness.


What does decent work look like?

A decent work environment provides opportunities to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. We’ve identified seven areas regarding decent work in the nonprofit context (read our checklist or the Change Work report for more information):

  • Employment opportunities
  • Fair income
  • Health and retirement benefits
  • Stable employment
  • Opportunities for development and advancement
  • Equality and rights at work
  • Culture and leadership


The ONN Decent Work initiative is supported by: