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B.C. seeking feedback on gig worker employment standards

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 10:19 PST, Fri November 25, 2022

British Columbians are invited to provide input about employment standards that should be in place to support app-based ride-hailing and food-delivery workers.

Adam Walker, Parliamentary Secretary for the New Economy, is leading consultations on this issue. An online survey asks workers and the public for their views on working conditions, the benefits and challenges, and how government can improve employment standards for app-based ride-hailing and food-delivery workers.

"We've seen tremendous growth of the gig economy, along with the dramatic changes to B.C.'s workforce in recent years," Walker said. "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."

Harry Bains, Minister of Labour, said: "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."

Through the survey, government is seeking input from those who are or have been app-based ride-hailing and food-delivery workers. Input is also welcome from other British Columbians who would like to share their perspectives on this issue.

The survey is available on government's public engagement site until 4 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2023, in English, French, Punjabi, traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, Tagalog, and Arabic: engage.gov.bc.ca/gig.

Throughout November and into early December, Walker is holding in-person roundtable discussions in communities throughout the province to hear directly from app-based ride-hailing and food-delivery workers. 

One of the in-person sessions is taking place in Richmond next Tuesday (Nov. 29) at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (8771 Lansdowne Rd.) from noon to 1:30 p.m.

To register for one of these discussions, ride-hailing and food-delivery workers can send an email to: precariousworkstrategy@gov.bc.ca. Comments can be sent to the same email address. Details of the sessions are online: gov.bc.ca/gigworkconsultation.

Walker is also consulting broadly with key stakeholders, including app-based companies, industry experts, labour organizations, and academics, and engaging with First Nations and Indigenous partners.

In 2019, Statistics Canada estimated approximately one in 10 Canadians in the workforce (1.7 million people) were gig workers in 2016, up from approximately one in 20 workers in 2005. Currently, many app-based workers are paid only for "active time" and may earn less than minimum wage for a shift.

For information about B.C.'s employment standards, visit gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/employment-standards-advice/employment-standards.

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