News Article

Consulting in a "gig" economy is appealing to many, but is the move from employment to self-employment a smart one?


Companies prefer dealing with independent contractors. They don’t have to provide benefits and they don’t have to pay payroll taxes. But from the perspective of the independent contractor, it is not always such a great deal. For example, they cannot collect EI once the contract is finished. And if they are told they need to incorporate, they had better be very careful of the rules for personal services businesses. This can be a disaster for the contractor, but the company who told him he needed to incorporate walks away scot-free.

By Peter Coles on June 15, 2018

The question is likely not “is it smart”, more likely “can we stop it”?
I think no we cannot stop this economic change and more than we could stop any other economic paradigm shifts in the past. Example the move from Deferred Pension Plans that is now being “sanctioned” by the courts.
I have two workers right now: one is a part-time employee who works remotely and one who is a contract worker who gives me about 60 hours a month and has her own clients as well, which I consult on.
Which scenario do I prefer?
The one that keeps the worker happy.

By Sandra Gibbs on June 14, 2018

While I state NO, I am more concerned that GIG workers don’t even get the choice.  GIG workers need to organize to ensure they can qualify for group benefits, proper working conditions, better pay and more control over the hours and days they work.  GIG workers are taken advantage of by large companies.  GIG workers like UBER drivers could reverse this by working together with the community they serve and sever the tie to the top down strings that control their work and comp.

By John on June 11, 2018

I think too many people treat this as a sideline activity, not as the main activity, the problem therein arrises if they decide to track expenses against income in that is there any potential for profit, often the answer is no, and then how will the CRA handle it.

By Les Brown on June 06, 2018

CRA has issues between contract employees and employees already. This will create problems as to employee contractor tax calculations.

By Bob Kelley on June 06, 2018

Self employment is not for everyone.  You have to be an optimistic person with a fairly high tolerance for risk, be hard working and persistent. If it is right for you, you’ll be happier than you ever were working for someone else, if it is not right for you then stay with the pension and fringe benefits, you’ll be happier and make a greater contribution.

By Gay McArthur Wise on June 06, 2018

This is a difficult question to answer as there are many points pro and con.

If you asked, should you leave a large corporation or government job, I would say no due to the benefits and pension advantages.

If you were in a small business with no benefits, the answer is yes.

By Gerry on June 06, 2018

This is not always a good move. I think this ‘oversold’ by would be employers because it makes things easier for them . They do not have t be concerned with ETD, etc but the would be employee who is no a freelancer may find it difficult if things do not work out and is often not aware of the consequences

By Enzo on June 06, 2018