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Opposition to propose gig economy minimum wage

  • February 02 2021
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Opposition to propose gig economy minimum wage

By Cameron Micallef
February 02 2021

Gig economy workers such as Uber Eats drivers could soon pocket a minimum wage and basic working conditions under a proposal launched by the opposition. 

Opposition to propose gig economy minimum wage

Opposition to propose gig economy minimum wage

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  • February 02 2021
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Gig economy workers such as Uber Eats drivers could soon pocket a minimum wage and basic working conditions under a proposal launched by the opposition. 

Opposition to propose gig economy minimum wage

Federal Labor has said that it will update policy to fit in with a changing workforce, such as the rise of the gig economy, as they look to curb the creation of a “new working poor”. 

“We don’t really want people being held victim to a model,” shadow minister for industry and innovation Ed Husic told Sky news. 

“A lot of people have taken it up during the pandemic, with 50,000 sole traders emerging in the employment stats, which indicates people moved to the gig economy to get some sort of work in the interim.” 

“We need to be mindful of the conditions, safety with the workplace system and the laws around it to take into account new models emerging particularly in the gig economy.”

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The changes in employment status follow an announcement by Uber Eats that they are altering their contracts from 1 March, which the Transport Workers Union claim will heap further pressure on riders and gag them from speaking out about their pay and conditions. 

The new contract, sent to food delivery riders on Wednesday, attempts to distance Uber from responsibility, including for injury or damage suffered by riders, stating that riders should take out their own workers’ compensation insurance. 

Under the proposal, riders could see their pay revoked if a customer complaint is received, without a right of reply.  

It is also alleged that Uber maintains the rights to unilaterally alter the terms and conditions of the agreement at any time. 

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said the federal government should act to prevent Uber sinking even lower to exploit workers.

“Uber is rightly afraid that its sham contracting days are numbered in Australia. After the Federal Court savaged Uber in December, this move reeks of desperation to shore up a business model which relies on exploitation and the refusal to pay workers minimum wage, or give rights like protection against unfair dismissal and workers compensation,” Mr Kaine said.

If Labor’s changes are implemented, consumers could potentially pay more for services, as staff wages increase and businesses look to maintain profit levels.

“I think the sense of a fair go in Australians would lead them to think carefully about how people are getting paid under these systems.

“I think Australians are sensible and have a heart when it comes to these things and would realise something would need to give, including paying more,” he concluded.

Opposition to propose gig economy minimum wage
Opposition to propose gig economy minimum wage
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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