Peggy Sattler MPP, London West

Government of Ontario

Government blocks NDP bill to support gig and contract workers

Published on November 18, 2021

QUEEN’S PARK – The government voted Thursday to keep allowing corporations and businesses to mislabel their employees as independent contractors.
The premier and his MPPs voted no to Peggy Sattler’s bill, which would have protected workers from being denied their basic workplace rights because they are misclassified as independent contractors when they are not. The bill would have made Ontario the first province to legislate the gold standard ABC Test for worker classification, which puts the onus on employers to prove that a worker is not an employee.
“In many cases, these are the workers who have been carrying us through the pandemic—delivering our groceries, keeping workplaces clean, caring for our loved ones, providing safe transportation,” said Sattler. “For the government to turn its back on them by blocking this bill is nothing short of shameful. They are leaving thousands of workers to fend for themselves against their employers, without the safety net of the workplace rights enshrined in the Employment Standards Act.”
“Ontario’s gig and contract workers deserve a government that will listen to what they need and protect their rights. If Andrea Horwath were premier, these workers’ lives would have been improved today,” Sattler said.
The Preventing Worker Misclassification Act would have addressed the growing problem of workers being incorrectly classified as independent contractors rather than employees, and thereby denied rights like minimum wage, vacation days, statutory holiday pay, and protections regarding termination under the Employment Standards Act. This practice is common among technology platform gig workers like app-based drivers and riders, home health care and nursing home workers, cleaners, truck drivers, personal service workers, food production workers, construction workers and more.
Ford’s Conservatives voted down the bill by a vote of 47 to 26.