Ontario seeks minimum wage for digital platform workers

Proposed legislation wants protections for digital platform employees

Ontario seeks minimum wage for digital platform workers

Ontario may become the first Canadian province to set a minimum wage and provide other foundational rights to digital platform workers as it introduced the Working for Workers Act, 2022 (Working for Workers Act 2). Premier Doug Ford said the proposal is part of their plan to build a stronger economy that works for everyone.

"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," he said in a statement.

Digital platform workers include those who offer rides or deliver food and other products for companies, such as Uber, Dash Door Dash, and Instacart. These workers across the world struggle to obtain benefits received by regular employees due to their employment status.

According to the provincial government, some digital platforms do not provide explanations on how their riders' pays are calculated. Some are also able to remove workers without any explanation. These capabilities put workers at risk for uncertain working conditions and lack necessary protections.

Read more: Ontario to mandate disclosure of employee electronic surveillance

To resolve these issues, Ontario's Working for Workers Act seeks to lay down 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
    • 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
  • Protection from reprisal should they seek to assert their rights

Monte McNaughton, minister of labour training and skills development, described the following as "core rights" that will be the foundation to help all workers earn bigger pay checks for their families.

"No one working in Ontario should ever make less than minimum wage for an hour's work," McNaughton said in a statement. "No one working in Ontario should be dismissed without notice, explanation, or recourse. No one should have to travel out of the country to resolve a workplace dispute or sign a contract they do not understand."


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