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31 Aug 2019

David Chau, ABC News

Australia: Food delivery giant Deliveroo is sued for failure to pay the minimum wage, penalty rates & superannuation

"Deliveroo sued by former worker who alleges exploitation and underpayment", 28 August 2019

Food delivery giant Deliveroo is being sued by one its former workers in a case that could have major ramifications for the gig economy.

The company is accused of exploiting its bicycle couriers by failing to pay the minimum wage, penalty rates and superannuation.

..In a statement, Deliveroo defended its practices by pointing to the "freedom", "flexibility" and "well-paid" work it offers to more than 8,000 riders across the nation.

"Deliveroo riders in Australia work 15 hours a week, earning over $22 per hour on average, fitting riding around study, hobbies, caring responsibilities or other work," the company said.

..Deliveroo has a policy of ranking its riders in a hierarchy or "Priority Groups" every fortnight — a system that sorts them into three groups, 11:00am, 3:00pm and 5:00pm.

...The riders are sorted according to who works the most "super-peak hours" (Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings) and makes the most deliveries. Riders are penalised for showing up to work late and cancelling too many jobs.

"Priority booking access will be given to the riders who provide the most reliable service," Deliveroo wrote on its website.

"If you decide not to work super-peak hours, that doesn't necessarily mean your priority group will be affected.

...Dr Kaine said..."This is exactly the type of arrangements that we fought against a century ago. In particular, workers needing to wait and be at the whim of an employer, as to how much work they could do, and when exactly it could be done.

"That's why we have a system that has minimum rates and awards to ensure workers get stability."