Victorian government pushes for gig economy reforms

The state is providing a way forward

Victorian government pushes for gig economy reforms

The Labor government in Victoria will move forward with a set of gig economy reforms aiming to protect workers better, despite the “leadership vacuum” happening in the Federal Government. Tim Pallas, Victoria’s industrial relations minister, unveiled the changes along with a budget of $5m to roll out the reforms. The move poses a challenge for national leaders to follow suit.

“With a leadership vacuum in Canberra, Victoria will lead the way with more focused support for the on-demand workers and businesses who need it,” Pallas said, earning the support of unions. The state government is backing a total of 21 reforms, a number of which cover minimum standards, a new low-cost conflict resolution platform, and a portal or resource centre that will provide them with updates on their employment status and entitlements.

Read more: Deliveroo riders elect first health and safety representatives

Further deliberations between businesses and unions will also help clarify terms pertaining to work status, fair pay, terms and conditions, safety and work representation. However, labour leaders are pushing for reforms to come from the top down. “We think the time is now for change and it shouldn’t just be in Victoria,” said the Transport Workers Union.

Read more: Gig workers want a law to guarantee protections and benefits

With delivery riders reportedly struggling with low pay and a flawed ratings system, these gig workers are often left with little choice but to “do as many deliveries as quickly as they can,” according to Steve Khouw, a gig worker and member of the Delivery Riders Alliance. Workers sometimes earn as low as $5 per delivery, and more than a third have been injured while on duty.

Uber doesn’t just operate in Victoria, its exploitative model is a national one,” TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said. “Sadly, the federal government is failing in its duty to protect workers and this week in its budget failing to commit any funding to combating horrific exploitation and risks to lives in the gig economy.”

Recent articles & video

HR sector primed for pay rises as job demand outstrips supply

Fair Work ruling on Deliveroo case poses questions for gig economy

Back to office workers show super low morale

Fun Friday: Trending career hashtags on TikTok

Most Read Articles

Australian HR Awards 2021: HRD reveals this year’s excellence awardees

Facebook gives staff option to go fully remote

Can employees be ‘dismissed’ without being fired?