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Article

Australian gig-economy site Airtasker has launched in New Zealand but ‘taskers’ accepting work will be independent contractors not covered by employment laws

"Airtasker workers won't be covered by minimum wage laws", 18 September 2020

Australian multi-national company Airtasker has launched its “tasks” digital marketplace in New Zealand, but “taskers” accepting work posted on the gig economy site won’t be covered by many employment protection laws.

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[...]Sydney-based chief executive Tim Fung says taskers are independent contractors, and so are not covered by employment laws covering things like the minimum wage, holiday and sick leave, and KiwiSaver.

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But all payments for work are made through the platform’s Airtasker Pay system, with the company deducting a 10 to 15 per cent share of the money paid to the tasker.

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People can accept tasks that end up paying them less than the minimum wage.

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Andrea Black, policy director and economist from the Council of Trade Unions fears “taskers”, such as cleaners, would be hired for market rates and then find themselves being paid less than market rates, and perhaps the minimum wage, as a result of Airtasker’s fees.

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“It's an independent contract between the customer and the person who is doing the job, the service provider,” Fung says.

“Airtasker is not actually creating an employment arrangement between them,” he says.

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Fung does not accept that Airtasker has any responsibilities for health and safety in the workplaces it helps create.

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But Worksafe spokeswoman Nikki Papatsoumas says that Airtasker is a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU)under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

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