The Ministry of Labour in British Columbia is actively seeking feedback to improve working conditions for app-based ride-hailing and food-delivery workers.
This call for input comes after consultation with platform companies, workers, and other stakeholders, identifying significant concerns including low, unpredictable pay, and issues related to worker safety and compensation.
According to a report by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, between 26,000 and 60,000 individuals are engaged in ride-sharing or food-delivery work in the province. Many of these workers depend on this type of gig work as their main source of income and have shared their views on the current challenges.
The Ministry’s research to date shows strong support for a wide range of protections among the workforce, with over four in five respondents rating additional worker protections as being “important” or “very important.”
Some of the pressing concerns identified include the absence of pay for the time workers spend waiting for assignments and the need for improvements in areas such as worker safety and compensation in case of injuries. The consensus among those involved is that there is substantial room for improvement.
In response to these findings, the Ministry is releasing a discussion paper that will begin the next phase of engagement on potential protections. The document focuses on priority standards and protections such as:
- Fair compensation standards, pay, and destination transparency.
- A fair process for terminations or deactivations.
- Workers’ compensation coverage.
Public input on these and any additional relevant concerns is being sought through email at [email protected] until Sept. 30, 2023.
In B.C., the use of these services is notably popular among the 18-34 age group, with 87% utilization (Research Co, April 2023). Additionally, half of Canadians order food for delivery once a week, spending an average of $32 per order, as per the Made in CA Food delivery statistics from February 2023.
The Ministry’s continued engagement reflects a wider recognition of the growing role and associated challenges of gig economy workers in the province. The move towards improved standards and protections aims to provide a more equitable and transparent environment for those involved in app-based ride-hailing and food-delivery services.
For those interested in learning more about the Ministry of Labour’s ongoing efforts or to read the discussion paper, the information is available at: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/govtogetherbc/engagement/gig-workers/.