By Michael Cochrane (Senior Associate) and Stephanie Koumbarakos (Trainee Lawyer)
In May 2018, Greens MP, Adam Bandt introduced the Fair Work Amendment (Making Australia More Equal) Bill into parliament. The bill is targeted at gig economy workers (also known as “sharing” economy workers), such as Ubereats drivers and Deliveroo bicycle riders.
Currently, these workers are considered to be independent contractors rather than employees and as a result, they do not receive the benefits of employees under the Fair Work Act 2009 such as minimum wages, penalties or leave.
The bill seeks to give the Fair Work Commission the power to make a “Minimum Entitlement Order” to extend entitlements under the Act, a particular award or enterprise agreement to workers in the gig economy.
The bill is unlikely to pass through the parliament as it is currently constituted but with similar legislative proposals on the cards in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria – it still remains a case of watch this space!