DoorDash signs landmark agreement to ensure gig workers' protections

'This is the first step in protecting all workers, regardless of the label applied to them'

DoorDash signs landmark agreement to ensure gig workers' protections

In a landmark agreement, DoorDash Australia and the Transport Workers' Union (TWU) have agreed on six core principles that aim to ensure fairness and protection for gig workers.

In the Statement of Principles to Ensure Safety and Fairness for Workers in the On-Demand Economy, both sides recognise the need to enforce industry-wide standards by an independent body given the nature of gig work in Australia.

Under the agreement, they also agreed on the following six core principles:

  1. Workers should not be prohibited from accessing appropriate work rights and entitlements
  2. Workers must have transparency
  3. Workers must have the opportunity to contribute to a collective voice
  4. Workers must have access to dispute resolution processes
  5. Appropriate resources should be allocated to ensuring industry standards are established and maintained, and to driver education and training
  6. Three stage approach towards achieving regulation of the on-demand transport industry

These principles were developed after months-long collaboration between the TWU and DoorDash, according to a media release. It also builds on the success of their previous COVID-19 agreement which established core pandemic protections for workers.

Rebecca Burrows, DoorDash Australia general manager, said they are pleased to work with the TWU on the agreement, adding that frameworks to support gig workers need to evolve as more people join the industry.

"Independent workers engaging with platforms like ours are making an immense contribution in our communities and to our economy. We're always working to improve the experience they have with DoorDash, but we also have a role in advocating for their needs with stakeholders, policymakers and others in industry," said Burrows.

"We need to ensure independent workers can rely on clear standards and protections and access more benefits, without sacrificing the autonomy and flexibility they value," she added.

In working with the TWU, the general manager said they are "optimistic that we can together develop a framework that gives workers the ability to choose the type of work that suits them and continues to provide workers access to income when and how they choose, as well as the security of new benefits and protections they deserve."

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

The agreement between the TWU and DoorDash is regarded historic as it is the first of its kind between a union and a delivery platform.

Michael Kaine, national secretary of the TWU, said in a statement that collaborating with DoorDash is an "important step" in giving the gig economy workers the rights and protections they deserve.

"In collaboration, the union and DoorDash have shown that with proper negotiations and regulation, workers don't have to choose between flexibility and appropriate work rights and entitlements. This is the first step in protecting all workers, regardless of the label applied to them."

"We need new laws to secure rights for all workers and this agreement paves the way for delivering them," added Kaine.

"DoorDash understands this, and we know they will not be the last gig company to see the logic of industry wide standards. Lifting standards and providing minimum rights throughout the industry is the best way to enable fair competition and market sustainability while ensuring gig work is safe, secure and sustainable for all workers."

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