Building Better Benefits

Image credit: Norma Mortenson / Pexels

The Decent Work and Health Network has released their letter to Ontario’s Advisory Committee on Portable Benefits urging for better policy and protections for workers.

From September to December 2022, the Ontario Advisory Committee on Portable Benefits underwent a consultation process inviting workers, employers, their representatives, and members of the public to provide input in the development of a new health benefits program for gig workers. 

In their letter, the Sarah Shahid (Decent Work and Health Network) and  Dr. Danyaal Raza (Unity Health Toronto) bring attention to the existing gaps in health equity for workers in Ontario and advocate for better policy and protections for part-time, temporary and contract workers. Their submission explores three ways this can be achieved:

    • Ending Worker Misclassification: The misclassification of employees as independent contractors denies basic employment standards like minimum wage, regular hours, or paid sick days..
    • Equal Pay for Equal Work: Regardless of hours of work or type of contract.
    • Universal Public Healthcare Programs: A portable benefits scheme is a ‘fill-the-gaps’ approach to health coverage. A universal health program would provide more efficient, equitable and effective support for workers.

Read the full letter here.