Following on the Ontario Government’s raising of the minimum wage last fall. The minimum wave will now be extended to digital platform workers who offer rides or deliver food and other items for companies such as Uber, Door Dash and Instacart.
The Working for Workers Act, 2022 (Working for Workers Act 2), would, if passed, make Ontario the first province in Canada to establish a minimum wage and other foundational rights.
“As part of our plan to build a stronger economy that works for everyone, we want all workers to have every opportunity to earn a good living and provide for their families,” said Premier Doug Ford. “It doesn’t matter if you work for a big company, a small business or for a rideshare app. Our government won’t leave any worker behind.”
Data shows as many as one in five Canadians work in the gig economy, a number that is predicted to increase. However, these workers often face uncertain working conditions and lack necessary protections, including finding it difficult to predict paycheques or resolve complaints.
The government’s proposals would enshrine the following rights and protections for digital platform workers:
Earning at least the general minimum wage for time worked;
The right to keep their tips along with regular pay periods;
The right to information and clarity around algorithms including:
how pay is calculated; and
how and why a worker might be penalized in the allocation of work;
Written notice if they are being removed from the platform and why;
The right to resolve their work-related disputes in Ontario; and
Protection from reprisal should they seek to assert their rights.
The province has also committed to design a health care benefits plan tied to millions of workers who currently don’t have access to them, including digital platform workers.
Also included in Working for Workers 2 is a requirement for employers to disclose their electronic monitoring of employees and several red tape reductions to encourage out-of-province workers to help fill the generational labour shortage.