Uber strikes landmark deal on gig economy employment standards

Uber and the TWU have finally come to an agreement that could change the sector for good

Uber strikes landmark deal on gig economy employment standards

Ride-sharing giant Uber and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) have agreed on supporting the creation of a regulatory body that will set industry-wide standards and benefits for gig workers.

In the landmark deal, the union and the ride-sharing giant said they will back the Federal government in legislating an independent body tasked with creating standards on:

  • Minimum and transparent enforceable earnings and benefits/conditions for platform workers based on the principle of cost recovery, taking into account the nature of the work
  • A cost effective and efficient mechanism to resolve disputes such as deactivation of relevant platform worker accounts. Any dispute resolution mechanism must be fit for purpose for platform work
  • The rights of platform workers to join and be represented by the relevant Registered Organisation are respected and that platform workers have an effective collective voice
  • Appropriate enforcement exists to meet these standards and objectives

Uber Managing Director Dom Taylor and Uber Eats Managing Director Bec Nyst were there to sign the agreement with TWU national secretary Michael Kaine.

"We are pleased to be working collaboratively with the TWU, Federal Government, and those in the industry, to create a framework which recognises the unique nature of independent work and lays the foundation for the future of the gig economy," said Taylor in a statement.

"Whilst Uber and TWU may not seem like obvious allies, we've always agreed that driver and delivery partners must come first, and today we have struck this important deal to improve workers' protections."

Read more: Uber Eats announces new business model and contracts for riders

According to Taylor, they also want to see the flexibility for drivers preserved, adding that their take on the matter should also be sought.

"We want to see a level playing field for the industry and preserve the flexibility that gig workers value most. It is critical that earners continue to be part of the regulatory conversation and that their collective voice is heard."

Kaine, for his part, lauded the signing and said it sends a "strong signal" to the government to protect gig workers.

"We welcome Uber's constructive cooperation and look forward to continued negotiations to deliver the reforms workers desperately need," said the TWU official.

"Today's agreement sends a strong signal to the newly-minted Federal Government that it must act to deliver gig companies regulatory certainty and extend appropriate safeguards to workers across the gig economy."

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