A cross-party committee of MPs says it's time for the government to take a deeper look at a guaranteed minimum income to help workers caught in the tectonic shifts of the "gig economy."
The MPs' report on declines in traditional, full-time employment in favour of short-term contract work says the government needs to explore new types of income supports "that do not depend upon someone having a job."
To that end, the committee calls on federal officials to review a minimum-income program, which is typically a no-strings-attached government payment to every citizen that replaces an assortment of targeted benefits, as an option to help those between gigs who fall through the existing social safety net.
The report calls for a revamp of the employment-insurance system to widen that net, reducing the minimum number of hours someone must work before qualifying for benefits, boosting payments to low-wage workers, and reconsidering the benefits available to self-employed workers. It also calls on the government to modernize federal labour regulations.
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