Gig Workers

ride-share passenger using an app to rate the driver

Gig workers – including app-based ride-hail and food-delivery workers – deserve to be treated fairly, just like all other workers in our province. At the same time, we need to make sure this industry remains sustainable both for the workers and the platform companies, so that people in B.C. can continue to rely on these services.

Visit Gig Worker Engagement | govTogetherBC to read the discussion paper on proposed employment standards and other protections for app-based ride-hail and food-delivery workers in B.C. The Ministry of Labour is seeking input from app-based ride-hail and food-delivery workers, platform companies, business associations, labour organizations, non-profit groups, academics and researchers.

B.C.'s employment laws should reflect the needs of modern workplaces.

People in B.C. have embraced app-based ride-hail and food-delivery. Customers enjoy the convenience of these services, while workers value the flexibility that this type of work offers, such as being able to log on and off an app to work when they want. However, most people involved in the sector agree there is room to improve working conditions for these workers.

Gig workers, like everyone who works in our province, deserve to be treated fairly. That’s especially true when many of these workers are among the most vulnerable in our society: newcomers and low-wage earners. At the same time, we need to make sure this industry remains sustainable for both the platform companies and the workers, so that people can continue to rely on these services.

Last updated: August 3, 2023

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The latest: the Ministry is seeking feedback on discussion paper

The Ministry has developed a discussion paper: Proposing Employment Standards and Other Protections for App-Based Ride-Hail and Food-Delivery Workers in British Columbia. Released August 3, 2023, this discussion paper forms the basis of a new round of engagement considering potential standards and protections for these workers.

The discussion paper outlines the priority concerns heard during the initial engagement and provides the context for considering appropriate employment standards and other protections for the sector. It also sets out several questions for comment regarding the following priority issues:

  1. Fair compensation standards
  2. Pay and destination transparency
  3. Account suspensions, deactivations and terminations
  4. Workers' compensation and occupational health and safety coverage

The Ministry welcomes proposals, feedback and perspectives on the questions and priority issues posed in the discussion paper. Once you had read it, please email your feedback to: by September 30, 2023.

The Ministry is continuing to work with platform companies, app-based ride-hail and food-delivery workers, and other stakeholders on solutions to ensure appropriate employment standards and other protections are in place for this sector.

Fall 2022 Engagement

In Fall 2022, the Ministry of Labour began an engagement process to identify the benefits and challenges of app-based ride-hail and food-delivery work. Platform companies, labour and business organizations, academics, and others were invited to participate in virtual meetings. Worker-only roundtable discussions took place in several B.C. communities, and a public survey focusing on app-based ride-hail and food-delivery workers was conducted online. Results of this engagement are compiled in a What We Heard Report.

Protecting workers as the employment landscape changes

The economy and workforce have shifted dramatically in B.C., just as they have around the world. The gig economy – which is characterized by more independent, flexible and temporary jobs, often through online or app-based platforms – has become much more common.

The Government of B.C. is working together with app-based ride-hail and food-delivery workers, platform companies, and other parties, on solutions to ensure appropriate employment standards and other protections are in place in this sector.

As the employment landscape changes, it is important to stand up for the protection of workers in this sector, while also making sure that app-based businesses continue to be viable in B.C.

Gig Work

Gig work includes paid work outside of a traditional employment relationship – that is, a full-time, permanent job with one employer – and includes app-based ride-hail and food-delivery work. Gig work can be an appealing option for workers who want the flexibility to set their own hours and who value independence.

Precarious Work

There is no universal definition of precarious work, but here in B.C. we see precarious work as being work that is often marked by low pay, little security and few -- if any -- basic employment standards. It can include part-time, casual, temporary and seasonal workers whose hours are not guaranteed. Gig work can often be considered precarious work.

Independent Contractors

Here in B.C., most workers are eligible for the benefits and protections established by the Employment Standards Act, such as minimum wage, overtime, and statutory holiday and vacation pay. Independent contractors are not employees under the ESA, so they are not subject to the statutory employment standards. Workers with questions around how the Employment Standards Act applies to them can visit the Employment Standards Branch website.

If a complaint is filed and the Employment Standards Branch (ESB) is asked to determine a worker’s employment status for example, whether the worker is an independent contractor or employee, the ESB will look at the specific circumstances of the situation as well as the relationship between the two parties.

Calling a person an independent contractor, even if the worker agrees, does not decide the issue. The ESB makes the determination of whether a worker is an employee based on the requirements of the Employment Standards Act, including its definitions of “employee,” “employer,” and “work”. If there is disagreement with the decision, the matter can be appealed to the independent Employment Standards Tribunal.

Workers' Compensation

B.C.’s workers’ compensation system provides no-fault compensation benefits for work-related injuries, diseases, mental health disorders and fatalities. For independent contractors, WorkSafeBC, which is responsible for the Workers Compensation Act, offers the option of purchasing Personal Optional Protection. If purchased, this ensures that independent contractors have workers’ compensation coverage. For questions regarding workers’ compensation coverage, please contact the Assessment Department.

Employment Standards

The law in B.C. sets standards for payment, compensation and working conditions in most workplaces. The standards promote open communication, fair treatment and work-life balance for employees.

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