Share your thoughts on the new realities of working Canadians: The right to disconnect and gig work

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Consultation has concluded

About this consultation

We want to better understand how current federal labour protections could be updated to reflect today’s workplace realities. We want to hear from both workers and employers on the everyday realities of gig workers, including those working on digital platforms. This includes all workers who enter into short-term contracts to complete specific and often one-off tasks, not just those who work through digital platforms like delivery or freelance applications.

We also want to understand how best to provide federally regulated workers with a “right to disconnect.” This would ensure workers have a positive work-life balance by establishing clear expectations about the use of workplace communications devices, like cellphones, after the workday is done.

We want to hear from you!

Participate in the discussion forum and share your personal story. We also invite you to submit your ideas by email, using the following email address:

ESDC.NC.LABOUR.CONSULTATIONS-TRAVAIL.NC.EDSC@labour-travail.gc.ca

The consultation will be open until April 30, 2021.


Minister's Message

Modern digital communications are changing the way we work, and the pace of these changes is increasing as they become more powerful and permit us to achieve more in our work each day.

The Government of Canada knows that as the way we work changes, labour protections must also change. While we have already taken significant steps toward modernizing the Canada Labour Code, there is more work to be done.

This is why, to help ensure a new generation of Canadians is able to find good jobs, we want to better understand the experiences of gig workers in federally regulated sectors, including those working on digital platforms. To help address knowledge gaps and solicit views from stakeholders, such as employers and unions, formal consultations are expected to begin in the coming months.

Another part of our work will be to co-develop a policy with federally regulated employers and labour organizations that gives federally regulated workers the “right to disconnect,” to support their work-life balance and well-being. To provide recommendations on how we could move forward with this issue, the Right to Disconnect Advisory Committee was established. It is made up of representatives from federally regulated employers, unions and other organizations. The committee is currently holding a series of meetings, which began in October 2020.

As we continue to explore these emerging issues, I invite all Canadians to participate in the discussion and to share their input and stories on these two important topics. These issues may affect you, someone you know or a business you rely on. I’d like to hear your perspectives on the right to disconnect and on labour protections for gig workers.

Your participation will help in developing policies that ensure our federal labour protections continue to serve Canadians across the country.

Summary reports combining all engagement and consultation work are expected to be available later this year.

Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi

About this consultation

We want to better understand how current federal labour protections could be updated to reflect today’s workplace realities. We want to hear from both workers and employers on the everyday realities of gig workers, including those working on digital platforms. This includes all workers who enter into short-term contracts to complete specific and often one-off tasks, not just those who work through digital platforms like delivery or freelance applications.

We also want to understand how best to provide federally regulated workers with a “right to disconnect.” This would ensure workers have a positive work-life balance by establishing clear expectations about the use of workplace communications devices, like cellphones, after the workday is done.

We want to hear from you!

Participate in the discussion forum and share your personal story. We also invite you to submit your ideas by email, using the following email address:

ESDC.NC.LABOUR.CONSULTATIONS-TRAVAIL.NC.EDSC@labour-travail.gc.ca

The consultation will be open until April 30, 2021.


Minister's Message

Modern digital communications are changing the way we work, and the pace of these changes is increasing as they become more powerful and permit us to achieve more in our work each day.

The Government of Canada knows that as the way we work changes, labour protections must also change. While we have already taken significant steps toward modernizing the Canada Labour Code, there is more work to be done.

This is why, to help ensure a new generation of Canadians is able to find good jobs, we want to better understand the experiences of gig workers in federally regulated sectors, including those working on digital platforms. To help address knowledge gaps and solicit views from stakeholders, such as employers and unions, formal consultations are expected to begin in the coming months.

Another part of our work will be to co-develop a policy with federally regulated employers and labour organizations that gives federally regulated workers the “right to disconnect,” to support their work-life balance and well-being. To provide recommendations on how we could move forward with this issue, the Right to Disconnect Advisory Committee was established. It is made up of representatives from federally regulated employers, unions and other organizations. The committee is currently holding a series of meetings, which began in October 2020.

As we continue to explore these emerging issues, I invite all Canadians to participate in the discussion and to share their input and stories on these two important topics. These issues may affect you, someone you know or a business you rely on. I’d like to hear your perspectives on the right to disconnect and on labour protections for gig workers.

Your participation will help in developing policies that ensure our federal labour protections continue to serve Canadians across the country.

Summary reports combining all engagement and consultation work are expected to be available later this year.

Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi

Share Your Story

The Government of Canada wants to better understand your perspectives on the changing world of work. In order to address today’s workplace realities, the Government wants to better understand:

  • the experiences of gig workers in federally regulated sectors, including those who work through digital platforms like delivery or freelance applications
  • how federally regulated workers could benefit from a “right to disconnect,” for example, having clear expectations for the use of cellphones after workers finish their day

Both workers and employers are invited to share their experiences. These stories will help provide a personal viewpoint on this issue. For your consideration only, some questions are included below to help you develop ideas for your input. 

To protect the privacy of individuals, please tell your story anonymously and avoid naming specific people and organizations, or providing any type of information that would allow someone to be identified. For example, use general terms such as “my employer,” “my employees” or “my organization.” 

The Government of Canada may use stories or excerpts from stories in its communication and reporting activities. For more information, visit our consultation and engagement activities privacy notice statement.

This is a public‎ forum. Stories submitted online using the form below will be visible to other users. Registration is not mandatory; however, you will need to provide an email address and a screen name. Your email address will not be visible to others.

If you would rather share your story privately, you can submit it by email to ESDC.NC.LABOUR.CONSULTATIONS-TRAVAIL.NC.EDSC@labour-travail.gc.ca. Stories submitted by email will not be shared online but may be referenced in the summary reports. However, no personal or identifying information will be included.

Thank you for taking the time to share your story as part of the right to disconnect and gig work consultation. We are currently reviewing your story. It may be posted on this site or used in other communication activities.

Thank you,

The Stakeholder Relations Team

Employment and Social Development Canada

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

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    Gig Workers Need Support

    by Mark Orchard, 7 months ago

    I have worked for three online platforms - Uber Eats, Fiverr, and Crowd Content, and all three of them pay under the minimum wage for Ontario where I live.

    I'm sure one could argue that those companies aren't based in Ontario, and therefore shouldn't have to pay Ontario's minimum wage. My counter to that argument is that the law should apply based on where the work is being done, not on where the company's HQ is located. (For example, a Starbucks employee in Ontario is paid according to Ontario's minimum wage, not Seattle's, where Starbucks is based.)

    Work is work... Continue reading

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    Working from home

    by Henrik Laursen, 7 months ago
    Hello, I have now worked from home for more than 25 years. It provides me freedom to go for a walk, when I choose. I am very focused, responsible and entirely capable of separating work from 'my time'. Office on upstairs floor. Meals and socializing on lower levels. Never did the water-cooler 'thing' - also, I do not consume coffee. I am very social, and love meeting people, in-person, not on sites. I am well aware, that it is not for everyone to work on their own. Zero intention of making any changes. By all means, feel free to publish... Continue reading
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    Don't hurt progress - Gig work and flexible hours are important to Canada's competitiveness

    by Working professional, 7 months ago
    The world of work is changing. Gig work and flexible work hours are two places where there have been significant change in the last 10 years and government policy has struggled to keep.

    Similarly, the court system has struggled as well, but for different reasons - courts are fundamentally traditional institutions - they operate by applying old precedent decisions to new situations, and so they too have struggled to adapt to the changing approaches of work, that are quite different from the traditional models.

    My view on both situations is that the problem is a failure of existing policies and... Continue reading

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    Need to have relevant policies

    by Peter Smith, 8 months ago

    I am in a position to write and enforce policy at work. We have policies that govern when overtime can be worked, and also that allow more flexible working arrangements. We also have a culture that respects work/life balance and the importance of family - it is not a perfect organization but it is pretty good. We don't expect people to work 24/7.

    I don't think it is possible to regulate every part of work-life. Federal and provincial legislation already deals with overtime, flex hours, standby pay and reporting pay, as well as scheduling and shift requirements. These laws still... Continue reading

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    Not just a pandemic problem.

    by Dawn, 8 months ago

    I am middle management in IT and have been working from home for 20 years. As a salaried manager, I am expected to do whatever is necessary to keep the work stream moving, and that includes unpaid off hours labour. While there is a LOT of talk about work/life balance and supporting mental health, it lip service and left to the individual to self manage despite the unyielding incoming work stream. I have been able to push a boundary for the right to disconect, but not without resistance and only have the agency to do that because I am considered... Continue reading

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    Choice: of employee and employer, with legal recourse for both.

    by KID, 8 months ago
    I began working at home when at IBM in 2000 when they wanted to save money by reducting office space. Since then, sometimes permanent W@H and other times just a few days per week, varying in the number. I prefer it, but then I've never been abused. If I choose to respond to an email off-hours, it's my choice to assess the importance of the task and of my standing in the company.


    I've learned these things:

    1. Managers often need training to manage remote employees. There's no guarantee that the best person for the job will be in your... Continue reading

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    A gig worker at 50+

    by Carolyn, 8 months ago
    I was permanently laid off by my employer of 25+ years in 2018. Even with relevant skills and experience finding permanent work in your late 40's at the similar pay and responsibilities is really hard in one's late 40s. I accepted a contract role at significantly less pay and no benefits. I was lucky enough to get a second contract a year after my first one ended. Having no benefits, sick days or real stability is really hard. I live in fear of getting sick or needing health care or dental work. I feel disposable.
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    Disconnect or Pay

    by Grant, 9 months ago

    Along with the Right to Disconnect I think there needs to be some real talk about the Right to GET PAID. If employees can’t disconnect then at least they should be paid for all the time they are connected. I have worked for the same company for 20+ years. I don’t have a work-from-home type of job and yet my employer has managed to find ways, using technology, to get me to do a lot more work duties from home (and yes, it's all unpaid). I am doing things from home that 5-10 years ago I could only have done... Continue reading