[Australia] Gig economy platforms divided over workers’ rights

[Australia] Gig economy platforms divided over workers’ rights
15 Apr 2021

At a time when their British counterparts are opting to either change workers’ status or face financial consequences, Australia’s gig economy giants are resisting union efforts to classify their workers as “employees” but have offered other concessions, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

However, other local services - particularly in the disability industry - say their business models are already different and have urged a Senate committee that began hearings on April 12 not to include them with the big-name food delivery firms.

Deliveroo saw its shares slump on its debut after several of Britain’s largest fund managers citing its labour practices and declined to invest. In Britain, Uber and Just Eat Takeaway.com (the European parent of Menulog), are giving their workers more rights. (Links via original reporting)

In Australia, both Deliveroo and Uber say they are open to providing additional benefits to their workers such as sick pay. But other platforms like disability care providers Mable and Hireup are keen to separate themselves from the food delivery giants.

In Mable’s submission to the Labour-chaired Senate inquiry into job security, the care provider says the 11,000 people offering services on its platform should not be considered part of the “gig economy”. (Link via original reporting)

Mable says that - unlike a firm such as Uber - their service providers set their own payment rates, take on regular work rather than one-off jobs and may form relationships with individual customers to get more work.

Additionally, it says its personal carers are paid an average of $37 an hour Monday to Friday, after Mable’s work fees, a far higher rate than the $21.92 an hour Uber Eats says its delivery riders earn.

Another care worker provider for people with a disability - Hireup - is also doing things differently, employing about 6000 workers a month directly and giving them access to the minimum wage, workers’ compensation if they are injured and employer superannuation contributions.

Hireup co-founder, Jordan O’Reilly, says he is worried by the rising number of “independent contractor” arrangements and argues that the industrial award setting out minimum pay and conditions for the disability sector should be simplified to provide a level playing field.

The Sydney Morning Herald has more on the story.

At a time when their British counterparts are opting to either change workers’ status or face financial consequences, Australia’s gig economy giants are resisting union efforts to classify their workers as “employees” but have offered other concessions, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

However, other local services - particularly in the disability industry - say their business models are already different and have urged a Senate committee that began hearings on April 12 not to include them with the big-name food delivery firms.

Deliveroo saw its shares slump on its debut after several of Britain’s largest fund managers citing its labour practices and declined to invest. In Britain, Uber and Just Eat Takeaway.com (the European parent of Menulog), are giving their workers more rights. (Links via original reporting)

In Australia, both Deliveroo and Uber say they are open to providing additional benefits to their workers such as sick pay. But other platforms like disability care providers Mable and Hireup are keen to separate themselves from the food delivery giants.

In Mable’s submission to the Labour-chaired Senate inquiry into job security, the care provider says the 11,000 people offering services on its platform should not be considered part of the “gig economy”. (Link via original reporting)

Mable says that - unlike a firm such as Uber - their service providers set their own payment rates, take on regular work rather than one-off jobs and may form relationships with individual customers to get more work.

Additionally, it says its personal carers are paid an average of $37 an hour Monday to Friday, after Mable’s work fees, a far higher rate than the $21.92 an hour Uber Eats says its delivery riders earn.

Another care worker provider for people with a disability - Hireup - is also doing things differently, employing about 6000 workers a month directly and giving them access to the minimum wage, workers’ compensation if they are injured and employer superannuation contributions.

Hireup co-founder, Jordan O’Reilly, says he is worried by the rising number of “independent contractor” arrangements and argues that the industrial award setting out minimum pay and conditions for the disability sector should be simplified to provide a level playing field.

The Sydney Morning Herald has more on the story.

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