A flexible benefits fund is being introduced in Canada to assist gig economy workers in the ride-hail and food delivery space, Reuters reported on Monday (Aug. 30).
The measure calls for all gig industry stakeholders to be transparent and share data on workers’ hours and earnings, which was outlined in a company blog post, according to Reuters.
The proposed fund is intended to offer cash benefits to gig workers that would go toward retirement, life insurance, education, dental or health benefits that aren’t covered by the universal healthcare system in Canada.
Data on drivers’ hours and earnings would be shared and paid into the fund proportionally. Workers would be eligible for fund benefits if they met a minimum threshold, according to Reuters. Further details were not disclosed.
There is friction between gig firms and workers over the lack of benefits and other protections extended to employees. Labor unions and lawmakers have argued that gig workers should be reclassified as employees instead of independent contractors.
Gig companies have been subjected to criticism over the lack of benefits and other perks extended to independent contractors that power the majority of gig-based operations. Numerous governments — including President Joe Biden’s administration — have said that gig workers should be treated as employees.
The majority of firms involved have worked to diffuse any arguments regarding reclassification and have pointed to surveys that show most employees don’t want to be categorized as employees.