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Gig economy: Australia & UK regulations compared

The recent Fair Work Commission (FWC) Full Bench decision to insert casual conversion clauses in modern awards, and the Report of the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices in the UK, are responses to the same world-wide phenomena... businesses are wanting to engage workers flexibly: over the last 20 years, this has led to the growth of casual, part-time and fixed-term employment – and independent contractor arrangements – in Australia. The most recent manifestation of this flexibility has been the rapid rise across the globe of the 'gig economy': technology-based platforms which match consumers to workers who provide services...the Theresa May Government-initiated Taylor Review has... concerns that some employers use flexibility to transfer risk to – and exert control over – workers: what the Report describes as 'one-sided flexibility'. We examine the parallels between the Australian and UK debates over workplace flexibility – and the most recent regulatory responses to the issue.

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