B.C. Introduces Landmark Protections for App-Based Ride-Hailing and Delivery Workers

In a groundbreaking move, British Columbia has finalized regulations to provide fairness, minimum-wage measures, and basic protections for app-based ride-hailing and delivery workers. These regulations, the first of their kind in Canada, will come into effect on September 3, 2024, and apply to workers for platforms such as Uber, Lyft, Uber Eats, SkipTheDishes, DoorDash, and others.

Key Features of the New Regulations

The new regulations address several critical issues faced by gig workers:

  1. Minimum Wage: Workers will earn a minimum wage of $20.88 per hour, 120% of B.C.’s general minimum wage (currently $17.40). This wage applies to “engaged time,” the period from accepting an assignment to its completion. A 20% premium accounts for time spent waiting between assignments.
  2. Vehicle Expense Compensation: Workers will receive additional compensation for vehicle expenses, with ride-hailing drivers receiving $0.45 per kilometre and delivery workers $0.35 per kilometre. These rates reflect the estimated costs of operating a vehicle in B.C.
  3. Workers’ Compensation: All ride-hailing and delivery workers will be covered through WorkSafeBC, ensuring they receive benefits for work-related injuries, including vocational rehabilitation services.
  4. Transparency: Platform companies must provide workers with estimated earnings and all pickup and delivery locations before accepting an assignment. Workers will also receive detailed wage statements each pay period.
  5. Fair Terminations and Suspensions: Companies must inform workers of the reasons for suspensions or deactivations. Workers terminated without cause must be given notice or compensation.

Addressing Workers’ Concerns

The regulations are a result of extensive consultations with workers, platform companies, labour organizations, and the public. They aim to balance the unique challenges of gig work while ensuring that ride-hailing and delivery services remain accessible and affordable.

“All companies should be providing basic fairness like minimum wage for their workers,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour. “Everyone working hard to support their families should have basic protections so if they’re injured on the job, they won’t lose their homes. That is what we are doing with these regulations – providing fair pay and basic protections for these workers.”

Quick Facts

  • The new regulations apply to approximately 11,000 ride-hailing drivers and 35,000 delivery workers in B.C.
  • In 2023, 38% of people in B.C. used rideshare apps, while 46% used food-delivery apps, according to Pollara Strategic Insights.
  • These regulations do not apply to other gig workers such as freelance writers, musicians, or dog walkers.

Looking Ahead

These new worker protections represent a significant step in addressing the challenges associated with gig work. Following their implementation, the Ministry of Labour will monitor the sector to determine if further adjustments are necessary.

For more detailed information about the consultation and the regulations, visit the Government of B.C.’s engagement site.

Final Thoughts

The introduction of these regulations marks a pivotal moment in the gig economy, setting a precedent for fair treatment and protection of app-based ride-hailing and delivery workers in B.C. Employers, workers, and stakeholders must stay informed and adaptable as these changes take effect, ensuring this sector remains fair, safe, and sustainable for all involved. If you have any questions or concerns, visit our website!

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