Contractors in spotlight with legislative changes

Alberta, Ontario look to clarify definitions
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 08/08/2017

Legislative changes announced — or expected — in Alberta and Ontario could have a major impact on the contractor model popular with many individuals and employers, say experts.

Through its Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act, Alberta has changed the definition of employee to include dependent contractors who work for one employer. The change, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2018, is part of the Labour Relations Code and will allow contractors to unionize and bargain collectively.

In Ontario, the government introduced the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act in June hoping to amend the province’s Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act. One change would prohibit employers from misclassifying employees as independent contractors or treating “an employee of the employer as if the person were not an employee.”