If you’ve been a victim of the growing problem of false self-employment there IS something you can do.

While legitimate self-employment has some benefits for workers, too many vulnerable Canadian workers are being deprived of access to EI benefits when their jobs end and also deprived of employer contributions to their CPP making affected workers poorer when they retire.

When this happened to me I was very discouraged to find very little information available to help me. When I did find out that I could ask CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) for a determination of employment status, I was still discouraged by reports that this process could take 1 or 2 years before making its way through the bureaucracy.

I was angry. My employer was a non-profit, charitable organization supposedly concerned with social justice yet was treating employees inequitably and additionally ripping off the social safety net of the country. After friendly persuasion and patience got me nowhere, I decided to take action. I had been vocal about the inappropriateness of a staff member being paid as a self-employed contractor for some months without any notice being paid.

When I presented my employer with “Employed or Self-Employed a document from CRA, I succeeded in having my employer contributions started but the employer was still resistent to paying back contributions owing. I followed up by filing the appropriate CRA form to request an employment status ruling. So I am happy to report that my case was settled in a mere one month with the employer required to pay back CPP and EI payments.

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers

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