Our Policy Priorities: Decent Work and Pensions

ONN Policy Priorities 2019-2020


Champion a decent work movement for good working conditions to better serve communities


The nonprofit sector faces recruitment and retention challenges related to the quality of work for employees. Job quality issues, such as precarious work, low salaries, and a lack of benefits and pensions, affect many of the sector’s one million employees, 80 percent of whom are women


ONN advocates for labour-force-wide standards and decent work funding practices that support nonprofits to be decent work employers. ONN supports improvements to working conditions for all while taking a gender-based intersectional analysis (GBA+) approach.


Advocate for the Government of Ontario to:

  • Proclaim in effect the Pay Transparency Act, 2018, which would mean job postings must include pay ranges and large employers must track gender and diversity wage gaps
  • Use a nonprofit sector lens when making changes to employment laws and regulations

Advocate for the Government of Canada to:

  • Expand women workers’ access to Employment Insurance maternity and parental leave benefits by reducing the EI benefit waiting period to zero weeks, reducing the number of hours required to qualify for benefits, and increasing the benefit rate from 55 percent
  • Promote gender equity by implementing a universal child care program and recognizing the value of the (women majority) nonprofit sector’s contributions to society and the economy

Advocate for governmental (federal, provincial, municipal) and non-governmental funders to:

  • Become Decent Work Funders and adopt practices such as covering proportional indirect costs (“overhead”), the cost of extended health benefits and pension premiums, and annual inflationary increases in more stable, multi-year funding agreements

Work with the Ontario nonprofit sector to:  

  • Build a decent work movement in the sector by recruiting Champions and Leadership Voices, and partnering with provincial associations and regional networks
  • Promote the Decent Work charter, checklist, and good practices among nonprofits, including boards of directors
Develop and implement sector-wide and organizational policy solutions that promote women’s economic equity in the nonprofit workforce, such as a GBA+ compensation resource, a guide to maternity and parental leave top-ups, and resources to promote diversity in leadership positions
  • Foster widespread adoption of sector-wide solutions such as an employee health benefits plan and a pension plan for the sector
  • Support emerging youth leaders in the sector to be Decent Work Leadership Voices