Province launches survey on precarious worker benefits program

A server helps patrons at a restaurant. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / kadmy.

Ontarians are being given until mid-December to weigh in on the provincial government’s plan to implement portable benefits for precarious workers.

The program will provide health, dental, prescription drug, and vision care coverage for people who work precarious jobs in sectors like retail, hospitality, and the gig economy.

In an effort to better shape and implement the program, the province has launched an online survey to gather public feedback. It will be open to the public until December 16.

Information gathered through public feedback will be used to help an advisory panel on the program craft recommendations. Those recommendations are due out next summer.

According to the province, fewer than one quarter of people working part-time or precarious jobs have similar medical insurance and dental coverage to their counterparts in full-time, permanent jobs.

“How or where you work, should not determine whether you have access to benefits like health and dental plans,” said Labour Minister Monte McNaughton.

Creating a portable benefits program for precarious workers was a key recommendation made by the Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee earlier this year.