Report Highlighting Zero Employee Business Growth May Reflect Driver Inc Problem: OTA

A new report by the Peel Halton Workforce Development Group (PHWDG) highlights the growth of ‘zero-employee’ businesses in the region, with the trucking sector seeing massive growth in this area.

According to PHWDG, a community-based, not-for-profit research organization,

There was a 30% increase in ‘zero employee’ businesses in NAICS classifications relating to the trucking industry.

The report shows there were some industries which saw large increases in firms with zero employees, as well as the1-4 employee category. In the general long-distance freight trucking category, firms with zero employees rose 28.5% between 2019 and 2021, from 5483 to 7048.

Halton and Peel Regions remain important logistical hubs for Ontario and there is an expectation new companies and legitimate owner-operators will continue to join the industry in these geographic areas.

“As the industry knows, legitimate owner-operators are an important part of the trucking industry and a symbol of the small business spirit that has led to dramatic growth in the trucking industry dating back to deregulation,” said OTA President and CEO Stephen Laskowski. “But the relevant enforcement entities including the WSIB, ESDC and CRA should take note as reports like this could also be a clear warning sign that the tax and labour misclassification scam known as Driver Inc., continues to see considerable growth in our sector.”

OTA will be working with provincial and federal officials to determine if this type of regional growth in zero employee businesses is related to the prevalence of Driver Inc. companies, which – as highlighted by this Toronto Star article – routinely sidestep tax and labour responsibilities, exploit truck driver and new Canadians. and put compliant trucking companies a competitive disadvantage.

To read the entire report, click here.

The Peel Halton Workforce Development Group (PHWDG) is a community based, not- for-profit corporation that serves the Peel and Halton Regions. The PHDWG functions as a neutral broker of research, disseminator of information and facilitator of collaborative partnership development. The PHWDG works with the community to identify trends and opportunities in the labour market environment which impact our workforce.

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