Friday, July 19, 2024

New minimum wage coming for app-based ride-hailing and delivery workers in BC


The BC government has announced that it will soon implement regulations to ensure fair minimum-wage measures and basic protections for app-based ride-hailing and delivery workers.

These regulations will come into effect beginning on September 3rd and will directly benefit those who work for companies such as Uber, Lyft, Uber Eats, SkiptheDishes, DoorDash and others.

The new minimum wage for these gig workers will be $20.88 per hour, which is 120% of BC’s general minimum wage—currently $17.40. This minimum wage will be applied to drivers’ “engaged time.”

“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.”

The Province says the regulations are the culmination of engagement campaigns that took years and involved workers, platform companies, labour organizations, business associations, the public among others.

The main priority in the Provinces’ engagement was to balance the gig workers’ needs with ensuring the services provided by these companies wouldn’t become unaffordable. 

“Too many workers in this industry are putting in long hours and being paid less than the minimum wage,” said Janet Routledge, Parliamentary Secretary for Labour. 

“At the end of a shift, after paying their vehicle expenses, these workers are barely ahead of where they started. The new protections are going to change that.”

Gig workers who are employed by these apps raised the following concerns which are accompanied by the BC government’s corresponding regulations: 

  • Low and unpredictable pay
    • The regulation sets a minimum wage for engaged time and a minimum per-kilometre vehicle allowance to compensate workers for their vehicle expenses 
  • Lack of workers’ compensation
    • All ride-hailing and delivery workers will be covered through WorkSafeBC
  • Lack of transparency
    • Companies must allow workers to see the locations and estimated pay associated with a job before workers accept it
  • Unfair “deactivations” and suspension
    • Companies must tell workers why they are being suspended or terminated and if they are terminated without cause, they must be given notice or compensation
  • Tip protection
    • Companies must pay 100% of tips provided by the customer to the worker.

Additional and finalized regulations will be posted in the coming days, according to the Province. 

The new regulations apply only to ride-hailing and delivery workers who receive work through a third-party app; they do not apply to other types of gig workers, such as freelance writers, musicians or dog walkers.

Curtis Blandy

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