This was actually an issue dealt with at some length by the Fair Work commission, in determining whether or not those people who are not covered by the minimum wage or a relevant award in the gig economy or who are independent contractors, employees, and on the 21 April the Fair Work Commission devised by the Labor party when they were in government and indeed led by a unanimous decision by the president, Ian Ross, that Labor appointed, determined that Uber Eats drivers were not employees.
And the reason they made the determination was a range of factors, by two very critical things, and the first was that Uber Eats exercise no control whatsoever over when or how long a driver performed work and so as a legal matter of right in actuality, it was entirely within the driver’s control as to when they logged on to the app, there was no obligation to accept any particular delivery request.
The second reason why it was determined that person was not an employee was when they were performing work pursuant to a delivery request, the person could accept the work through other competitive food delivery apps or perform other types of passenger or delivery work so as is the case in the platform economy, a person can work across multiple platforms.
Of the opposition would have people believe is that it would somehow be a simple thing to move a group of people that the Fair Work Commission has determined a truly independent contractors, not employees, move them into a system of fixed wages and conditions, and then pretend to people, the price of the service to the end users, the commercial viability of the service, indeed the very existence of the work that provides the income in the first place.
If it is so simple, why would it be necessary to ask and answer questions like this? Does the person worked 10 hours or two hours of 20 hours?
Do they work across one platform are multiple platforms? If they work for two hours across multiple platforms on a minimum wage, who pays that wage?
These are complicated issues that simply don’t lend themselves to some simple formulation.
If you have a situation where one person works across multiple platforms and in fact a recent survey in Victoria found that 35% of people who use the platform economy work across multiple platforms, they sometimes work across four or more platforms.
How would you transmute that person onto a fixed wage arrangement? Is it even possible?