NSW ALP has pledged to empower the Industrial Relations Commission to make orders to ensure on-demand workers have minimum rates, superannuation, sick leave, annual leave and other benefits. The party also said it would ensure on-demand workers and the platforms they work on are defined under law, to ensure companies cannot continue to deny their rights.
“Workers in the on-demand economy deserve rights. They are being denied these rights by companies choosing to exploit them. This means delivery riders are working shifts for no pay at all. It means ride-share drivers can be assaulted and injured on the job, have their car stolen but they get zero workers compensation from their job. It means on-demand workers get sacked unfairly but are told they cannot challenge it because of definitions under the law. Companies are gaming a broken system,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
“It is an outrage that in the year 2018 we have these eighteenth-century conditions while the NSW Government and the Federal Government fail to act. The on-demand economy must be regulated to protect workers and to ensure tech billionaires do not turn the clock back on our entire society,” he added.
Delivery riders, ride-share drivers and the TWU are pushing for rights in the on-demand economy. A survey has found three out of four delivery riders are paid below minimum rates while one in every two riders say they or someone they know has been injured on the job.
Riders have protested in Melbourne and Sydney over recent months over the lack of minimum pay guarantees, and the fact that food delivery companies refuse to pay for sick leave or workers compensation when they are injured on the job. The first ever unfair dismissal hearing involving a food delivery rider opened in Sydney earlier this month.
This week it emerged Deliveroo threatened to suspend riders from its platform if they did not send in their old contracts or sign a new one with additional clauses shifting liability for non-delivery of food to riders. Deliveroo riders are fighting changes by the company which has seen their workload go up but their pay fall.
The rider survey also found:
- 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.