Decent work builds resilient economies.

Decent work helps create a strong economic base in low-income communities. Companies that pay living wages, provide secure jobs, encourage training opportunities and support diversity are better investments.

As noted by the International Labour Organization, “Decent work for all ensures social inclusion and dignity as the world of work plays a key role in economic and social progress and political stability everywhere.” Decent Work is not only a social good, but a business imperative. Providing good working conditions, employee safety and wellbeing, and meeting high standards of employee engagement, satisfaction and job security all create opportunities for better productivity, innovation and success.

Sustainable Development Goals

Decent Work and Economic Growth

Our approach to decent work is closely aligned with targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8, “Decent Work and Economic Growth,” which calls to:

Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment. (Target 8.8)

Improve education, awareness-raising and Strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all. (Target 8.10)

Our Definition of a Corporate Decent Work Strategy

Companies that pay living wages, provide secure jobs, encourage training opportunities and support diversity are better investments.

Create an inclusive and stable work environment.

Companies pursuing a decent work strategy seek to create positive, inclusive and stable workplaces for all of their employees. These companies recognize that stability helps to reduce stress in the workplace and among workers, creating an environment where people can focus on and make real contributions to their jobs.

Provide fair wages.

Companies that pursue a decent work strategy seek to compensate workers in a way that will encourage retention, workforce stability and employee satisfaction. They are also testing ways to ensure that all workers can share in the company’s success, including through employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and other profit-sharing programs.

Respect workers’ rights.

Respecting workers’ rights, including the right to freedom to associate and bargain collectively are an important part of a company’s decent work strategy and for ensuring effective communication and trust between workers and management. Companies that respect workers’ rights benefit from healthy employer-worker relations, better worker retention, safer workplaces, fewer work stoppages and strikes and more effective resolution of grievances.

Value workers’ input and contribution.

Decent work is not only about fair wages and benefits but also about workers being given opportunities to contribute their ideas, take pride in their work, understand their role in the company’s overall success and be recognized for their contributions. Companies pursuing a decent work strategy seek to incorporate worker voices on an on-going basis in business decisions and are also taking steps to measure the contribution that workers are making to company performance.

Invest in worker’s growth and development

Investing in workers’ growth and development starts with providing employee training to ensure workers are well equipped and able to increase their contribution to the company. These efforts can help position companies as employers of choice, decrease turnover, and ultimately improve productivity and financial performance.

Related Content

Public consultation on the Pay Transparency Act for the Ontario Ministry of Labour on May 1, 2019

SHARE believes there is a clear business case for addressing the gender pay gap and recommends the Government look to other jurisdictions that have already implemented gender pay gap reporting for experience in designing effective and reasonable regulations.

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Letter to the Canadian federal government on retirement security enhancement

Following discussions with Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada and Finance Canada, SHARE wrote a follow-up letter proposing extending clawback provisions to allow the recovery of company dividends, executive compensation and other extraordinary payments made, in order to protect workers’ retirement savings in light of insolvencies.

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Aligning Compensation: An investor brief on fair pay and income inequality

More attention needs to be paid to ensuring corporations recognize and reward the value provided by rest of the workforce. This report looks at ways to elevate the place of the workforce within listed corporations so that boards, executives and investors begin to value decent work.

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Related Programs

Learn more about our investor networks and programs, geared towards decent work advocacy and engagement.