Transport Workers' Union

The TWU has welcomed reports highlighting the details of the Federal Government’s legislation to provide vital rights and protections for gig economy workers, set to be tabled next week.

If passed by Federal Parliament, the legislation outlined today would provide the Fair Work Commission world-first capabilities to take a holistic view of gig work and set appropriate and enforceable standards in accordance with the reality of their work.

The reform follows years of campaigning from food delivery riders, rideshare drivers and Amazon Flex couriers on the deadly pressures they face every day through the denial of rights and protections enjoyed by employees.

The legislation also follows charters signed between the TWU and major gig companies Uber, DoorDash and Menulog on lifting standards for gig workers through reform.

Since the Australian transport gig economy began in 2017, 13 food delivery riders and a rideshare driver have been killed, though underreporting suggests there may be more.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said reports show Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke’s Press Club speech today will bring hope to thousands of transport gig workers across the country and reverberate throughout the world.

“This is a remarkable piece of legislation that, if passed, will revolutionise the gig economy.

“The archaic idea that workers’ rights depend on the label attached to them has meant that many who desperately need protections have missed out, with lethal consequences.

“The reform outlined today would give the Fair Work Commission the capacity to take a holistic view of gig work, how it is performed, and examine how much control or autonomy a gig worker really has, before setting appropriate standards to ensure they can work safely and are not exploited.

“This is a ground-breaking system that would provide genuine flexibility for gig workers for the first time ever. The provision of rights like minimum pay, insurance and protection against unfair deactivation would ease the deadly pressure on transport gig workers to work longer, faster and at certain times of night just to make ends meet.

“This legislation was fought for by transport gig workers, and in memory of those that have been tragically lost. We urge Federal Parliament to urgently pass this reform to save lives on our roads.”

The TWU has a long history of fighting for fair, safe and sustainable standards for independent contractors, including truck owner-drivers.

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