Fair Work Ombudsman court case against ‘gig’ economy operator
The so-called ‘gig economy’ refers to temporary work opportunities, usually on a contract or freelance basis. Technology has facilitated a relative explosion in the number of gig economy opportunities for individuals to earn a living.
The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) raised concerns about the suggestion three ‘independent contractors’ working with Foodora Australia Pty Ltd were actually thator rather, more genuinely ‘employees’ entitled to minimum payment and conditions spelt out in the Fair Work Act.
The FWO office applied the multi-factor employee versus contractor test and found that the workers were actually employees due to several factors, including:
- The level of control, supervision and direction, Foodora imposed on the workers;
- The fact that the workers were required to wear a Foodora branded uniform
- Foodora supplied tools and equipment as well as storage to the workers for completion of the tasks they were paid for;
- The workers did not have any influence on the amounts they were paid for tasks completed;
- The workers did not advertise their services externally, did not delegate services or hold their own client base or insurances.
The FWO has commenced legal action against Foodora in the Federal Court as having engaged in ‘sham contracting’ that has meant workers have been underpaid. If the findings of the FWO are supported by the Court as a result of the current legal action, there will be significant implications not only for the 'gig economy' but also for industries where the use of 'independent contractors' is commonplace. This would include building and construction, cleaning, couriers, security and road freight transport industries that have already been identified by the ATO as high risk industries for non-compliance and the use of contractors is extensive.
available to AAT members who enrol with our strategic partner, Monarch Institute, please email 5% discount and the Modern Awards, to complement their work with HR professional advisers. If you would like to receive more information about the release of this qualification and the Fair Work Act in understanding these sorts of intricacies. The new nationally accredited Diploma of Payroll Services, announced earlier this year, will serve to provide bookkeepers with the opportunity to learn in-depth information about many aspects of the HR function, including the Fair Work Act,Bookkeepers are urged to engage with HR professionals who are qualified, to provide advice relating to the application of modern awards and the firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Fair Work Ombudsman commences legal action against Foodora