Worker Compliance on Canada Bill 47-1

Canada’s Bill 47 passed on November 21, reinforcing a worker classification to Canada’s lexicon, among other regressive measures. Read on for details and what this means for employers. Pass the maple syrup.

The Dependent Contractor

The law supports a worker classification, the Dependent Contractor, who is between an employee and an independent contractor. A dependent contractor is a contractor that is economically dependent on one principal income. According to precedents in the US, we can reasonably presume that a Canadian court would determine a contractor is Dependent if:

  • They’re working predominantly for one principal
  • They are subject to the control of the principal as to how the services are provided
  • They use their own equipment, resources or tools in the provision of the services
  • They have undertaken any risks, or expect a profit from the provision of the services

What This Means for Employers

Employers will need to provide Dependent Contractors with a reasonable notice of termination, similar to an employer/employee relationship. To minimize risk, employers should:

  • Have clear written agreements
  • If the contractor is hired for a fixed term, the contract should clearly state the start and end date
  • Contracts should provide a process for the parties to end the relationship prior to the end of the fixed term, if they choose to do so
  • If the contractor is hired for an indefinite period, the agreement should have a termination clause that defines the reasonable notice of termination
  • The termination provisions of the contract should reflect, at a minimum, the notice periods set out in applicable employment standards legislation
  • If possible, try to ensure the contractor is not working exclusively or predominantly for just one organization

If you’d like more information, head over here.

Other Stuff About Canada’s Bill 47

Bill 47 primarily repeals progressive legislation, such as the minimum wage increase, as well as removing the provision of equal pay for temporary workers. When the Bill received Royal Assent, it also removed many of the general review powers of the Ontario Labour Review Board (OLRB), such as the power to review the structure of bargaining units. You can read Bill 47 in its entirety here.

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