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Canadian Federal Government to Inspect driver inc by Launching targeted Inspections and leveraging New Fines

Canadian Federal Government to Tackle the Driver Inc. Issue

The government has decided to try and curb the excesses of Driver Inc. Over the course of the year, they will deploy numerous schemes. The goal is to eradicate the negative outcomes of the Driver Inc. Model.

Driver Inc is a business operation which wrongly categorizes its staff as independent service providers. But, the Canadian government hopes to end this model once and for all.

When will this Come into Effect?

A spokesman from Employment and Social Development Canada talked about the legislation in detail. Similarly, he states new legislation will come into effect in 2020. The legislation will also identify employers who have not complied with regulations laid out in Canada’s Labour Code. Additionally, the spokesman revealed there will be penalties for such employers. 

The spokesman added that the government will carry out organized inspections of carriers who wrongly classify their staff. However, he stated that employers will not be blindsided. Employers have the opportunity to make necessary changes within their organization to comply with the labour code. In addition to this, the government will carry out an awareness and sensitization campaign. Overall, the goal of the campaign is to contact organizations who are not aware of their responsibilities.

Awareness Among Drivers and Carriers

The Federal Labour Program also plans to launch a program targeted at road transport organizations. The program will begin in the spring. It will incorporate information-sharing sessions on occupational health and safety as well as labour standards. The government hopes the program will make drivers and carriers more aware of the prerequisites of the Labour Code.

A Review of Past Enforcement

Some enforcement schemes were already introduced in October of 2018. At the time, Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, spoke publicly about the Driver Inc issue. She elaborated on the challenge of the misclassification of staff as independent service providers among trucking organizations. During an industry briefing, Hajdu stated both employee and employer groups have agreed misclassification is a real issue. Similarly, both groups believe this has produced an atmosphere of instability in the industry.

The government has made resources available online which can help in the classification of an individual as an employee or contractor. Similarly, additional communication materials will be deployed to create awareness for drivers and carriers. This additional material will spell out the rights and obligations of drivers and carriers under the Labour Code.

Not Business as Usual

The Ontario Workplace Safety & Insurance Board states that it is not business as usual for trucking organizations. The Ontario Trucking Association also revealed an unpleasant fact.  They stated that they have fined dozens of trucking companies in Ontario for using the Driver Inc. Model. For instance, the companies used the model specifically to circumvent the payment of premiums.

The Policy Push

Recently, the alliance started a public policy campaign to describe the growth in the business model challenge. The campaign also discussed the implication on the economy. According to the alliance, the Driver Inc. Model has cost federal taxpayers an estimated $1 billion. A large amount of this money is attributed to the non-payment of income tax by drivers. These drivers claim business-related expenditure, something which they are not ordinarily entitled

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