Doug Ford’s Plan to Help Gig Workers Makes It Easy to Misclassify Workers and Pay Them Less Than Minimum Wage
Press Progress talks to Josh Mandryk about the Ford government’s new legislation covering gig workers
Press Progress spoke to Josh Mandryk about the effect of the Ford government’s plans to pass legislation to “rebalance the scales and improve working conditions for gig economy workers”. Josh isn’t buying it:
Joshua Mandryk, a labour lawyer with Goldblatt Partners, agrees the “minimum wage” provided by the bill works out to far below the ESA’s minimum wage.
“The proposed Digital Platform Workers’ Rights Act, 2022 only requires the payment of minimum wage ‘for each work assignment performed by a worker’, and not for all of the time spent by workers on the app waiting for work assignments,” Mandryk told PressProgress.
“This isn’t a $15 minimum wage, as it has been presented in the some media, but rather is probably more likely a rolling $9 to $12 minimum wage, depending on the work opportunities available at the time.”
Mandryk also noted that the bill does not guarantee other key protections that employees enjoy under the ESA like overtime pay, vacation pay, and severance and termination pay. A better approach, according to Mandryk, would have been to shore up the rights of gig workers and others under the ESA through measures to prevent employee misclassification.
“Creating a stand-alone bill creates confusion and feeds into the false narrative that platform-based gig workers are different from other workers in a legally significant way,” Mandryk said. “In reality, they face the same problems regarding misclassification and wage theft as workers in industries like construction, cleaning, and traditional delivery and courier services, they just use an app to perform the work. These workers deserve full and equal protections under the ESA.”