Monday, July 15, 2024
Image: Province of British Columbia
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BC redefines “minimum wage”

Theft of workers’ tips being acknowledged?

Following Ontario’s lead, the government of British Colombia is changing the definition of the term “minimum wage.”

On June 12, BC released proposed legislation which, like Ontario’s law, divides a worker’s time into “engaged time” and “unengaged time.” App workers would be paid for time spent delivering a job, but not time spent between orders while they wait for their next engagement.

Jennifer Scott, president of the Toronto-based group Gig Workers United, said while some of the changes could be beneficial, she’s concerned about a minimum wage being set only for time when workers are engaged on a call.

Scott says delivery workers spend a significant amount of time not on a specific call.

“If a government brings in regulation that allows us to pay workers minimum wage only for engaged time, you’re effectively changing what minimum wage means,” she told Canadian Press.  

The new regulations are scheduled to come into effect on Sept. 3, 2024. They will apply to those who work for apps such as Uber, Lyft, Uber Eats, SkiptheDishes, DoorDash and others. Features include:

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