NSW to hold 'compliance operations' for delivery riders, employers

Government enforcing new safety rules, imposing fines

NSW to hold 'compliance operations' for delivery riders, employers

The government of New South Wales (NSW) will be carrying out compliance operations this week to ensure that food delivery riders are following safety laws that recently took effect this year.

The new laws set out that all platforms should provide each rider with a training record that verifies their successful induction training.

They also require all riders to use or wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while delivering food or drink, according to Sarina Wise, SafeWork NSW acting executive director for compliance and dispute resolution.

To ensure compliance, the government said inspections will take place shortly.

"SafeWork NSW and NSW Police will be engaging with riders in high-risk locations during typically busy periods," Wise said.

"Riders must also produce their training verification record if requested by a SafeWork NSW inspector or NSW police officer."

According to the SafeWork website, failure to wear PPE or provide training verification record may be fined on the spot with $144, while food delivery platforms can be ordered to pay up to $3,600.

The inspections will also look into motorised e-bikes that are illegal, riders having inadequate lighting on bikes, and unsafe practices such as using a mobile phone while riding, according to the government.

Laws to improve safety

The new safety laws were built on reforms introduced in July 2022, where booking platforms were required to supply food delivery riders with:

  • high-visibility PPE, including a retroreflective outer clothing item and a bag or container for safely transporting food or drink
  • a garment and a delivery bag that is compliant with the relevant Australian Standard

"These reforms are ultimately about keeping riders, who are among some of our most at-risk road users, safer on our streets," Wise said.

They were also built on work by the Food Delivery Rider taskforce, which was established in 2020 to boost safety in the industry.

NSW has been under scrutiny after a 2022 report found that the state's laws "perpetuate the overwhelming power imbalance between lone 'contractors' and multinational platform companies."

It comes as the gig economy sees massive growth, especially amid the pandemic. Various delivery platforms, such as Deliveroo and DoorDash, also enacted initiatives to ensure the protection of their riders.

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