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Legislative changes will bring fairness to app-based gig workers

November 20, 2023 at 11:07 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

App-based ride-hailing and food-delivery gig workers will soon have better working conditions, thanks to new legislation that was introduced.

“Last week, I announced several proposed solutions that respond to the needs of the workers who deliver our meals and drive us where we need to go,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour. “Today, I am tabling a bill in the house to establish the legislative authority for those protections so that the regulations can be developed as quickly as possible.”

The changes address the priority concerns workers have raised such as low and unpredictable wages, being cut off from the job without warning and a lack of workers’ compensation coverage if injured on the job.

“This is the first and a very crucial step towards recognizing us as hard-working individuals. We can look forward to receiving a fair resolution process, pay that reflects our hard work and basic rights and benefits like any contributing member of society,” said Inder Raj Gill, a ride-hailing driver in Vancouver.

The changes support the needs of workers while preserving the jobs and services this sector provides. B.C. will be one of the first jurisdictions in Canada to address the vulnerabilities faced by these workers.

“We clearly heard that app-based gig workers value the flexibility of this work but some also have significant concerns,” said Janet Routledge, Parliamentary Secretary for Labour. “We believe that all workers, regardless of where they’re from or what they do, deserve protections.”

These proposed legislative amendments do not require formal employment relationships between app-based workers and the platform companies. Instead, the amendments outline that these workers will be considered employees for the purposes of Employment Standards Act and Workers Compensation Act, whether they are employees or independent contractors.  

A set of employment standards will be established to bring fairness and predictability to these types of jobs through new regulations that can be reviewed over time and improved if needed.

The new standards and protections will come into effect after the legislation is passed and new regulations are developed, and once companies have had time to update their technology to implement the new requirements.

Quick Facts:

  • App-based food-delivery workers include those who deliver food or other goods through an app that matches customer orders with a delivery courier.
  • Government estimates there are currently approximatley 11,000 ride-hailing drivers and 27,000 food-delivery workers in B.C.
  • Twenty-one ride-hailing companies are licensed to operate in B.C., including multi-national companies such as Uber and Lyft, and locally operated companies such as Coastal Rides and Whistle!
  • There are seven food-delivery platforms operating in B.C., including Uber Eats, Instacart, SkiptheDishes, DoorDash and Fantuan.
  • According to Research Co.’s study COVID-19 Impacts Dining Behaviours Across British Columbia (February 2021), 32% of people in B.C. reported having food delivered to their homes at least once every two weeks.

Learn More:

To read the proposed employment standards that will be implemented through regulations, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023LBR0030-001799

To learn about the ministry’s app-based ride-hailing and food-delivery engagement, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/employment-standards-advice/gig-worker-engagement

To learn about B.C. employment standards, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/employment-standards-advice/employment-standards

For more information about B.C. legislation, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/legislation

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