Emerging Issues

Centre position on gig work

March 04, 2022

Gig work, largely unregulated, has put workers at greater risk of exploitation – of their time, their wages, and their rights. Under the guise of ‘independent contractors’, workers are stripped of minimum protections under the Employment Standards Act and other legislation, such as the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Our report Harassment and Violence in Canadian Workplaces: It's [Not] Part of the Job (to be released at the end of March), shows that harassment and violence, in all forms, remain pervasive and destructive problems in Canadian workplaces. For workers in precarious employment, including workers in the gig economy, the risks are much greater and the avenues for redress far from reach. 

The International Labour Organization (ILO) defines decent work as “productive work…in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity”. We support meaningful change and stand with workers in the gig economy who are struggling for their rights to decent and safe work conditions.

Terminology:

Gig work/economy: economic activity that involves the use of temporary or freelance workers to perform jobs typically in the service sector

Gig worker: a person who works temporary jobs typically in the service sector as an independent contractor or freelancer