Policy Forum: Sagaz at 20—Evaluating Employment and Independent Contractor Relationships in a Changing World

Canadian Tax Journal/Revue fiscale canadienne, Vol. 69, No. 2, 2021, pp. 453-473

22 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2021

See all articles by Graham Purse

Graham Purse

University of Regina - Paul J. Hill School of Business; University of Saskatchewan - Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy

Date Written: August 3, 2021

Abstract

In 2001, the Supreme Court of Canada decided Sagaz. That decision became an important part of the Canadian jurisprudence that resolves whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. In the subsequent 20 years, the work world has changed. Traditional tests of worker classification may not be appropriate in the new on-demand or gig economy. The multifactor tests that courts use to slot workers into two discrete categories, each with vastly different benefits and costs, are arguably no longer appropriate. Future approaches to this issue should consider either the use of legal tests that are more likely to produce a determination that workers are entitled to various social protections or, alternatively, rules that deem more workers to pay into, and be protected by, various social protections available to employees.

Keywords: Employment, independent contractors, tax policy, gig workers, social security, tax systems

Suggested Citation

Purse, Graham, Policy Forum: Sagaz at 20—Evaluating Employment and Independent Contractor Relationships in a Changing World (August 3, 2021). Canadian Tax Journal/Revue fiscale canadienne, Vol. 69, No. 2, 2021, pp. 453-473, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3894554

Graham Purse (Contact Author)

University of Regina - Paul J. Hill School of Business ( email )

3737 Wascana Parkway
Regina
Saskatchewan, S4S 0A2
Canada

University of Saskatchewan - Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy ( email )

Diefenbaker Building
101 Diefenbaker Place
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N5B8
Canada

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