Ontario launches consultation on portable benefits program
October 17, 2022
The Ontario government is conducting a consultation regarding a portable benefits program for part-time, temporary and contract workers. This program would attach health and dental benefits to workers rather than to employers. No potential aspects of plan design or administration have yet been shared.
The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (“OHIP”) covers services such as visits to the doctor and treatments in hospitals, but doesn’t cover dental care, glasses, or prescription drugs, among other services. The government notes that fewer than a quarter of precarious workers in Ontario have supplemental health insurance through their workplace, and are therefore less likely to be able to afford preventative treatments. This, in turn, leads to greater stress on the public healthcare system through increased emergency room visits. More workplace-based benefits, the government suggests, would both assist individual workers and the public healthcare system, and would help Ontario employers attract workers.
Workers, employers, their representatives, and members of the public are invited to provide submissions until December 16, 2022. They can either complete a brief survey here, or send more detailed submissions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In March 2022, following advice from the Ontario Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee, the Ontario government established the Portable Benefits Advisory Panel. The Panel will advise the government on the design and implementation of a portable benefits program; their report is scheduled to be delivered in 2023. There are five Panel members, including a sommelier with personal experience working without employer-sponsored benefits. There are no representatives of organized labour on the Panel.
Pension and Benefits