NSW inquiry on the impact of technological change recommends immediate action to provide decent working conditions for gig workers

Brian AJ Newman LLB

13 Apr 2022

Significant disadvantages for gig workers

The terms of reference for this inquiry are wide-ranging with a particular focus on the gig economy.

In its interim report, the select committee accepted that on-demand work had some positive aspects, including providing flexible arrangements.

However, this benefit was outweighed by the significant disadvantages such as the absence of guaranteed minimum wages and working hours, no paid leave provisions, poor safety standards and the lack of a fair dispute system in the event of workplace injury.

The Chair noted:

In short, the cyclist who delivers our Friday night takeaway receives next to none of the conditions long considered fair and decent across Australia. The job itself also puts workers in very real danger of injury, abuse and harassment. Late 2020 was marked by the deaths of no less than five food delivery riders, all while this inquiry was underway. These deaths, and the high potential for further tragedy, underscore the need for immediate action by the NSW Government.

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