Australia: Food delivery co. Deliveroo calls for law to govern gig economy; critics say proposal is mere token promise

Author: Cara Waters, The Sydney Morning Herald, Published on: 13 February 2019

"'Throwing workers a bone': Deliveroo calls for national laws to govern gig economy", 12 February 2019

A new class of worker should be created to cover gig economy employers Deliveroo has argued as part of a plea for a national shake up of workplace legislation.

The food delivery platform made a submission...calling for a "Future Work Act" to allow it and other platforms to offer riders benefits without employment in what has been described as a "third way".

However experts and unions criticised Deliveroo's legislative push claiming it was merely "throwing workers a bone".

Deliveroo's submission..."To end the trade-off between flexibility and security, we believe law reform should be considered that allows workers to accrue benefits on the basis of work performed...and that the provision of benefits by a company to a self-employed contractor should not impact their employment status,"....

...Deliveroo suggests a Future Work Act could enable companies to provide benefits to contractors including accident and injury or third party liability insurance, income protection when temporarily unable to work because of an accident, sick pay, and training.

Jim Stanford, economist and director of the Centre for Future Work, said...the offer by Deliveroo to provide benefits in exchange for workers not being employees is a "token promise".

"In general that is window dressing to try to make the current situation, which is very exploitative, more tolerable. Real benefits would be minimum wage, overtime, paid holidays and sick leave," he said.

...Tony Sheldon, co-ordinator on the on-demand economy for the Transport Workers Union said Deliveroo is "throwing workers a bone to try and shut them up" and "inventing new ways to keep underpaying its workers."

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Related companies: Deliveroo