International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations

Volume 32 (2016)

Volume 32 (2016) / Issue 3

Louise Boivin, '‘Just-in-Time’ Labour: The Case of Networks Providing Home Support Services in Quebec' (2016) 32 International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, Issue 3, pp. 301–321

Abstract

This article aims to analyse how the obligation to be available to work when requested by one’s employer manifests itself in the context of network organizations and under a legal regulation of working hours which was forged on the basis of the industrial production model. We conducted two case studies examining the situation of workers in the private externalized segments of home support services networks in Quebec, a Canadian province. We will demonstrate that for these atypical workers, mostly women, the obligation to be available to work without any accompanying compensation in wages is implicit and manifests itself in two ways: through time that is considered to be personal but which is not because it is squeezed into the gaps in fragmented, variable and unpredictable working schedules and through the exclusion, from paid work time, of time spent carrying out work-related tasks. The impact of this obligation is significant in terms of wages and precariousness. Its manifestations derive from both the network-based organization of work – which allows for the imposition of a ‘justin- time’ model of labour management and a reinforcement of the sexual division of labour – and the inadequacy of the legal regulation of working hours with regard to this organizational model.

Copyright © 2016 Kluwer Law International
All rights reserved

ISSN: 0952-617X
ID: IJCL2016016