The B.C. government is seeking public input on possible new employment standards for workers in the gig economy, specifically those who work for app-based ride-hailing and food-delivery services.
Statistics Canada estimated that approximately one in 10 Canadians (1.7 million people) were gig workers in 2016, up from one in 20 in 2005.
Many of them earn less than minimum wage for a shift because they’re currently only paid for ‘active time’.
"We've seen tremendous growth of the gig economy, along with the dramatic changes to B.C.'s workforce in recent years," said Adam Walker, parliamentary secretary for the new economy. "While workers enjoy the flexibility, they often are subject to precarious employment situations. We have a responsibility to ensure that our employment laws reflect the needs of modern workplaces - while protecting the rights of every worker in our province."
Walker has been travelling around the province, holding roundtable discussions with workers and operators of app-based services like SkipTheDishes and DoorDash. He was in Kelowna for private meetings on Nov. 9 and in Kamloops on Nov. 10.
He is also consulting with stakeholders, including app-based companies, industry experts, labour organizations and academics, and Indigenous partners.
Through a public survey, the government is also seeking input from those who are or have been app-based ride-hailing and food-delivery workers and members of the general public who would like to share their perspectives on employment standards for the sector.
"Our food couriers and drivers have been on the front lines of the pandemic and have played an essential role in our economy. Our government is focused on creating good jobs and protecting all workers as we build an economy that works for everyone," said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour.
The survey is available on the government's public engagement site from Nov. 23, 2022, until 4 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2023, in English, French, Punjabi, traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, Tagalog and Arabic.