Ride-hailing and delivery app Uber said it supports the proposed industrial relations reform to provide minimum pay to workers in the gig economy.
“Uber is supportive of industry-wide reform at a national level that ensures minimum standards for everyone in the gig economy as outlined by the Minister,” an Uber spokesperson told The Epoch Times on Sept. 4.
“These laws need to protect flexibility while also supporting minimum earnings requirements and finding ways to improve other benefits such as insurance and the deactivation process.”
Last week, Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke at the National Press Club said that the proposed reform would result in higher costs for consumers, but “it’s a pretty small price to pay.”
Under Labor’s proposed law changes for the gig economy, workers would be eligible for minimum pay rates and be protected against ‘unfair deactivation.”
“We welcome the Minister confirming his commitment to protect the flexibility gig workers rely on and value. We will continue to work constructively with the Government as they progress the bill and, in the meantime, look forward to examining the details when the bill is introduced to Parliament,” the Uber spokesperson said.
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create legislation that improves standards for the more than 150,000 people who choose to earn with Uber and Uber Eats, as well as thousands of Australians who value the flexible nature of gig work.”
MenuLog Wants Legislation Details
Meanwhile, online food ordering company Menulog said that it had the chance to engage with the government on a consultation and has yet to see the legislation if it considered feedback from stakeholders.
“Menulog has taken every opportunity to constructively consult with the government on these reforms; however, as we have yet to see any detail of legislation, we eagerly await the introduction today and are hopeful that what is introduced has taken the feedback of industry into account to avoid any unintended consequences for workers, the industry and the people and small businesses it supports within the Australian economy,” a Menulog spokesperson told The Epoch Times.
In June 2021, Menulog announced that it had deployed its first group of employed couriers in Sydney CBD. Menulog became the first food delivery platform in Australia to transition couriers to an employment model.
“We owe it to our couriers to help enhance their life standards, and as such, we have begun looking at how we can improve the way we operate and, as part of this, how we can roll out an employee model in Australia,” Menulog Managing Director Morten Belling said.
“Ultimately, we want to employ couriers. However, the current regulatory framework presents a number of challenges, with specific regards to existing modern awards, the lack of flexibility they present and subsequent cost. As such, we intend to investigate avenues for employment by making an application for a new Modern Award with the Fair Work Commission and consulting with key stakeholders.”
The proposed industrial relations amendments, which include implementing a “Same Job, Same Pay” scheme, requiring employers to convert casual employees who have been employed for 12 months and have worked a regular pattern of schedule over the last six months into permanent staff, and criminalising wage theft have faced backlash from business lobby groups.
“There is nothing in the federal government’s latest workplace relations proposals that would create a single job, add to job security, drive sustainable wage growth, raise productivity, encourage a person to start a business, encourage an employer to grow their business or would simplify our complex workplace relations system,” Australian Industry Group (AIG) CEO Innes Willox said.
“These changes will create confusion and extra costs for consumers, make it harder to hire casual workers, and create uncertainty for employing anybody,” Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott, meanwhile, said.