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
Date Written: August 3, 2021
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
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