Decision raises questions about dependent contractors’ entitlement to reasonable notice

By Julius Melnitzer | January 19, 2024

A recent Canada Industrial Relations Board decision has raised questions about the threshold that individuals must meet to be considered dependent contractors who are therefore entitled to reasonable notice on termination without just cause.

Dependent contractors, while not formally considered employees because of the degree of control and independence they enjoy, are workers who offer services to multiple clients but derive their earnings from a single source to a significant degree. While determining whether an individual is a dependent contractor involves a multi-pronged test, courts haven’t identified a bright line test for the degree of economic dependency required.

“Ontario courts, for example, have ruled that the test for a dependent contractor requires the individual to perform ‘substantially more than 50 per cent’ of their work for a single employer,” says Rob Lilly, a partner at labour and employment firm Levitt Sheikh. “What’s not clear is precisely what ‘substantially more’ means.”

However, in CIRB adjudicator Amanda Rogers’ recent decision in Gee v. Corus Entertainment Inc., she suggested that ‘substantially more than 50 per cent’ could amount to not much more than 50 per cent. READ MORE . . .

Julius Melnitzer is a Toronto-based legal affairs writer, ghostwriter, writing coach and media trainer. Readers can reach him at [email protected] or


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