Food deliverers will be paid the minimum wage if the Australian Greens bill makes it through parliament

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 21st May 2018

Gig economy workers should get minimum wage and workers conditions, according to the Australian Greens

Adam Bandt introduced a private member’s bill to the lower house on Monday May 21 2018, which aims to classify so-called “gig economy” workers as employees to give them minimum pay and workers rights. Mr Bandt said some bicycle deliverers for Uber Eats, Foodora and Deliveroo can earn less than $6 an hour.

“If we end up with 21st century technology, but 19th century work practices we are all going to suffer,” he said.

Over the past few months, it’s been revealed that the majority of food delivery riders are paid below the national minimum wage.

In January, the Sydney Morning Herald wrote that three in four delivery workers surveyed said they weren’t paid minimum wage, and many didn’t have sick pay or insurance.

Companies like Uber, Deliveroo and Foodora get away with this by classifying their workers as independent contractors, rather than employees. Independent contractors often don’t get leave or penalty rates and can be dismissed from their jobs at any time without warning.

Most importantly, they don’t need to be paid a minimum hourly rate: which means that delivery companies can pay workers by the delivery, rather than by the hour.

The Greens’ bill seeks to stop companies from avoiding paying the minimum wage by using the labour of workers not classified as employees.