Employment Law

From side hustle to main job: More Canadians turning to gig work

A photo of a person delivering packages. (Photo: Maarten van den Heuvel / Unsplash)

New data from Statistics Canada (Stats Can) found that gig work is no longer a “side hustle” for many Canadians.

According to the report, 871,000 people did gig work as their main job in the last three months of 2022.

What is gig work?

Gig work is a type of employment characterized by short-term jobs or tasks that don’t guarantee steady work, and where an individual must take specific actions to stay employed.

Key findings

In the fourth quarter of 2022, Stats Can found that:

  • An average of 624,000 self-employed Canadians aged 15 to 69 years had a main job with characteristics that were consistent with the concept of gig work.
  • 247,000 people who were paid employees in their main job had employment characteristics that were consistent with the definition of gig work.
  • An additional 1.5 million Canadians on average reported having done freelancing, paid gigs, or short-term jobs at some point during the previous 12 months.

The agency also noted that close to 500,000 people worked through a digital platform or app in 2023.

Can employers in Canada prevent staff from taking on side gigs?
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I was hired as an independent contractor, should I be considered an employee?

If you were hired as an independent contractor, it’s possible that you should be considered an employee.

In some cases, employers in Canada misclassify staff as contractors to avoid acknowledging certain employment rights like minimum wage, vacation and overtime pay, as well as severance pay.

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru discusses employee misclassification on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

Companies can’t avoid the issue by having individuals sign an employment contract that claims they are a contractor rather than an employee.

Our legal system provides guidelines for determining whether someone is a contractor or employee.

Should you be considered an independent contractor in Ontario?
What Albertans need to know about independent contractors
Independent contractors in British Columbia: Key rights

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If you have lost your job or are experiencing issues at work, connect with the knowledgeable employment law team at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP.

Our lawyers in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C. have successfully represented tens of thousands of non-unionized individuals.

In addition to employee misclassification, we can assist you on a broad range of employment matters, including:

Contact us or call 1-855-821-5900 to get the advice you need and the compensation you deserve.

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