Gig workers play a growing role in British Columbia’s labour force. To ensure the laws in B.C. keep up with this increasing trend and that gig workers are not being taken advantage of, the Ministry of Labour is conducting roundtable events throughout the province to speak to gig workers about their situation and concerns. These consultations are part of work toward a report, which is set to be presented to the government next year.
Some of the issues raised by gig workers during the consultations included:
- on-the-job injury and how gig workers might be protected from loss of income and/or medical expenses resulting from such an injury;
- earnings not meeting minimum wage due to an increase in business expenses —for example, food delivery drivers making less due to rising gas prices;
- legal options or protections for workers with platforms that terminate employment without cause; and
- to promote awareness of employment rights amongst gig workers.
In addition to the roundtable sessions, an online survey will be released to gather further feedback from gig workers in the province. Proponents leading the engagement sessions noted that tens of thousands of workers are engaged in the gig economy, making it a very important space for the government to understand and evaluate.
Nationwide, approximately 1.7 million Canadians work in the gig economy, primarily finding work through apps where consumers can order items like food delivery, groceries or rides. In this ever-changing legal area for many businesses, those who have legal questions or concerns about how employment laws do (or do not) pertain to them could benefit from contacting an experienced British Columbia employment lawyer.