16th November 2018
The TWU is calling for the Federal Government to honour the ruling and to immediately regulate to ensure riders are given the rights they deserve. The union is also calling for governments to prosecute parent company Delivery Hero over Foodora’s refusal to pay workers’ compensation for riders injured while working.
“This is a big day for food delivery riders and a big day for workers right across the on-demand economy. Workers whether they are contractors or employees have rights and our system needs to start recognising this. This ruling shatters the foundation that the on-demand economy is built on: that it is ok to rip workers off, steal their wages, refuse them retirement contributions and deny them wages when they are forced off the job because of an injury. This is an example of where an employer should face jail over wage theft, since internal emails show Foodora knew what it was doing was wrong. Today’s ruling flies in the face of the mantra from the Federal Government that this business model is acceptable. We are demanding that governments now prosecute Delivery Hero over Foodora’s disgraceful treatment of injured riders, who were left at home to struggle to pay bills because they were unpaid while unable to work,” said Tony Sheldon, TWU co-ordinator on the on-demand economy.
Rider Josh Klooger, who was sacked in March after speaking out about worsening rates and conditions, said he was pleased with the decision. “Riders should be able to earn a decent living and not see their wages continually slashed. They should be able to stand up and challenge employers when changes are introduced that affect their livelihoods. I hope this ruling prompts the Government to do the right thing by riders and ensure they have protections at work,” Klooger said.
The Commission in its judgement stated that corporation are avoiding responsibility and obligations that it would have as an employer this includes tax, public insurances, workers compensation, superannuation, workers health and safety, and “as a matter of public interest these arrangements should be subject to stringent scrutiny”.
Earlier today creditors voted to approve a report which will see Delivery Hero pay $3 million of the over $8 million it owes to riders, after years of underpaying them and denying them superannuation. The move follows claims by the TWU, ATO and Revenue NSW which have been assessed since Foodora went into administration in August.
“This fight does not end here. We will continue to pursue Foodora for the money they still owe riders in Australia. We will continue to demand an end to the exploitation of riders and other on-demand economy workers. The likes of Foodora, Uber and Deliveroo have introduced eighteenth century working conditions to our country, this time via an app. They are now on notice that this must change,” Sheldon added.
Hundreds of riders have protests in Sydney and Melbourne this year demanding rights.
A survey of riders has shown three out of every four riders are paid below minimum rates.
The rider survey also found:
- Almost 50% of riders had either been injured on the job or knew someone who had.
- Over 70% of riders said they should get entitlements such as sick leave.
- 1 in 4 riders (26%) work full time hours (40+ hours per week).
- 3 in 4 (76%) riders work 20 or more hours per week.
- Over 26% work more than 40 hours a week.
- The average age is just under 26 years.