Changes needed for Ontario's freelancers and independent contractors

The Canadian Freelance Union (CFU) is encouraged to see many options that would improve working conditions for freelance workers and independent contractors included in the interim report of the Changing Workplaces Review.

"The report widely acknowledges that today's Employment Standards Acts and Labour Relations Act leave many workers behind, including freelancers and independent contractors,” said Canadian Freelance Union Vice-President, Ethan Clarke. "We hope that the Government of Ontario will seize the opportunity to make real improvements for a growing portion of workers who rely on contract work as their livelihood."

The Canadian Freelance Union is a community chapter of Unifor, representing freelance workers in the media sector nationwide. As part of the consultation process, Unifor made a comprehensive submission outlining measures that would address specific work-related problems faced by freelancers and independent contractors, including:

  • sector-wide minimum standards
  • changes to the misclassification of employees as independent contractors
  • the ability for freelance workers and independent contractors to organize and have a collective voice.


Proposals made by Unifor to allow freelancers and independent contractors to organize and negotiate minimum standards with contractors and employers have been included in the interim report as options.

“As freelancers and independent contractors our members routinely encounter many of the issues that the Ontario Changing Workplaces Review was created to address, including precarious work, outdated employment standards, lack of access to benefits and barriers to joining a union and achieving collective bargaining rights,” said Clarke.

As a national organization, we are pressing for these changes in jurisdictions across the country. Time and again studies from around the world have shown that the entire province benefits greatly by making sure its most precarious workers are not left behind. 

"The Canadian Freelance Union will continue to work to represent members in the process to modernize Ontario's labour law, and to make sure that precarious workers aren't left behind.”

In advance of their final report, the Special Advisers to the Ontario government have called for further consultations. CFU looks forward to further participation to ensure that the voices of freelances and independent contractors are heard and included.

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The Canadian Freelance Union (CFU) is a community chapter of Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector union. Membership in the CFU is open to freelance workers in the media sector. We represent some of the best freelance communicators in the country as well as those just getting started in their careers.

For more information please visit www.canadianfreelanceunion.ca.

For more information contact:

Nora Loreto, Canadian Freelance Union at 581-983- 4397


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