Freelance workers, as independent contractors and as a group of workers in precarious conditions, face great challenges when it comes to legal protection, recognition, compensation and rights over their work.
The Ontario government is currently undergoing a review of Employment Standards and Ontario Labour Relations Act through the Changing Workplaces Commission.
The Canadian Freelance Union (CFU) believes that federal legislation such as the Status of the Artist can be used as a blueprint to provide freelance workers with a way to democratically select a bargaining agent in order to bargain collectively for improved standards.
Unifor, the CFU's umbrella union, has compiled a list of 43 recommendations as part of its submission to the Ontario Changing Workplaces Commission, available here.
We, the undersigned, petition the Ontario government to implement all recommendations made by Unifor to improve minimum standards for independent contractors and freelance workers, in particular those to:
Proposal 5(i): The rules found in Part III of the Canada Labour Code regarding just cause should be implemented in Ontario’s labour law, supplemented by recommendations from the Harry Arthurs review for improving the adjudication system, and implemented under the general authority of the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
Proposal 5(ii): The OLRA should be amended to include a new guarantee to protect and shield all employees and all persons who perform work or services for compensation when they engage in collective activities for the purpose of “mutual aid or protection.”
Proposal 6(i): The Employment Standards Act be amended to amend the application of the authority currently residing with the Lieutenant Governor in Council under Part XXVII, (1) 6 of the ESA. This amendment would provide the same authority to the Ontario Labour Relations Board to define an industry and prescribe for that industry one or more terms or conditions of employment, that would apply to employers and employees in the industry.