Are you a Gig-Worker? The Government of Canada wants you to share your views
In this blog, I thought to throw light on the “gig workforce” and recent federal government’s mandate towards protecting it.
Generally, the gig workforce has expanded with new technologies. Many gig workers can contract themselves out on various online platforms to complete specific or one-off tasks like Uber, Skip the Dishes, etc. using their computers, vehicles and cellphones. Indeed, the boom in Apps development has given gig workers more opportunities and work flexibility.
However, unlike employees with stable full-time employment, Canadian gig workers have little access to the social security programs and other protections under the Canadian Labour statues and Provincial employment statutes. In other words, a sick gig worker for example, would not be afforded protections under the employment statutes like a full-time employee.
It is no surprise that as millions of Canadians became displaced from their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more Canadians are trying to do whatever they can to make ends meet. They have been drawn to the flexibility of gig work, which allows them to work using their own tools. This means that there is a growing number of “gig workers” and without labour protections. According to the Government of Canada, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of the gig workers’ and Canadians’ dependence on gig workers to provide essential services (Government of Canada 2021).
In response, the Minister of Labour was given the mandate to develop greater labour protections for gig workers. On March 18, 2021, the Federal Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi, invited Canadians to participate in an online consultation to share their views on “gig work”
The online consultation is open to everyone and views can be shared until April 30, 2021. Feedback from the consultation will be used to help inform how labour protections could potentially be adapted for gig workers. For more information, see the Federal Government’s press release.
At Osuji and Smith Lawyers, we will keep you informed as developments in this area arise.
By: Calista Nwaiwu
- Government of Canada (2021, March 18). Gig workers and digital platform workers. https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/portfolio/labour/programs/labour-standards/consultation-right-to-disconnect-and-gig-work/backgrounder-gig-work.html