Work and Health Research Lab

Gig couriers in a pandemic

Gig couriers in a pandemic: Containing the occupational and public health impact


Gig courier workers, such as Uber Eats, Amazon Flex, and Lyft drivers have been busier than ever during the Canadian COVID-19 pandemic as the public attempts to avoid illness by ordering take-away food, shopping online and taking ride-hails rather than public transportation. This places self-employed gig courier workers in a unique position to become infected with COVID-19 and transmit it to others as they move people, food and packages from one location to another. The goal of this CIHR-funded study is to develop custom-made interventions to reduce illness exposure and community disease transmission related to gig couriers who move people, food and packages.

Research team: Ellen MacEachen (Primary Investigator) Shannon Majowicz and Samantha Meyer (Co-Investigators) with Steve Durant (Post Doctoral Fellow); Joyceline Amoako, Megan Crouch, Yamin Jahangir, Pamela Hopwood (Graduate Research Assistants); Antonela Ilac, Bobbi Rotolo, and Meera Parthipan (Research Assistants)

Advisory Committee

Jules Arntz-Gray – Director – Occupational Health and Safety Branch, Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development
Jessica Hopkins –  Chief Health Protection and Emergency Preparedness Officer, Public Health Ontario
Caroline Jimenez – Coordinator, Decent Work and Health Network
Deena Ladd – Executive Director, Workers Action Centre
Steve Mantis – Chair, Research Action Committee, Ontario Network of Injured Worker Groups
Jessica Ponting – Community Legal Worker, IAVGO Community Legal Clinic
Loretta Ryan –Executive Director, Association of Local Public Health Agencies
Liisa Schofield – Union Organizer, Canadian Union of Postal Workers
Robin Senzilet – Assistant General Counsel, Office of the Employer Adviser

Study Publications

Occupational health policymaking for a long-lasting COVID-19 public health response: Canadian and international solutions

International Policy Round Table

Canada: Ellen MacEachen, Ph.D., Shannon Majowicz, Ph.D., and Samantha Meyer, Ph.D., – University of Waterloo

Denmark: Johnny Dyreborg, Ph.D. – Roskilde University; National Research Centre for the Working Environment

Finland: Meri Moivusalo, M.D., Ph.D. – Tampere University; National Institute for Health and Welfare

France: Jean-Baptiste Fassier, M.D., PhD. – Université de Lyon; Université de Sherbrooke

Germany: Felix Welti, Dr. jur.– University of Kassel; Federal Social Court (Honorary judge)

Netherlands: Angelique deRijk, Ph.D. – Maastricht University

New Zealand: Michael Fletcher, Ph.D. – Victoria University Wellington

Sweden: Christian Stahl, Ph.D. – Linköping University

Research team: Ellen MacEachen (Primary Investigator) Samantha Majowicz and Samantha Meyer (Co-Investigators) with Joyceline Amoako and Pamela Hopwood (Graduate Research Assistants)

Study publications