Employees of companies such as Foodora and Deliveroo are the target of a new workers’ rights campaign aimed at improving the working conditions for food delivery riders in Melbourne.
The Rights for Riders campaign, developed through the Young Workers Centre in partnership with Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, is addressing the pay rates, job security, occupational safety and other conditions for riders in Melbourne.
Keelia Fitzpatrick from the Young Workers Centre said that like Uber, Foodora and Deliveroo appear to be employing their riders as independent contractors rather than employees.
“This means these riders are not covered by minimum wages or awards and can’t access basic conditions such as sick leave if they can’t go to work due to illness, or WorkCover if they get injured on the job,” she said.
“We are hoping this campaign will help us explore these and other concerns so we can consider the legal avenues available to any workers who are being exploited.”
According to SMH, Deliveroo and Foodora are facing the threat of a landmark court case alleging breaches of the Fair Work Act.
Maurice Blackburn said preparations were under way for a test case claiming the companies are paying their delivery drivers and cyclists as little as $10 an hour.
Fairfax Media has also found that the Australian Business Register has suspended some Deliveroo contractors' ABNs, after questioning them about the nature of their work and relationship with the company.
"On what I've seen so far, I have concerns that these riders are not properly classified as independent contractors," said Daniel Victory, a senior associate with Maurice Blackburn.
"They are often paid per delivery," he said. "So if a court was to find these riders were employees, it's doubtful that their minimum entitlements are being met."
Foodora and Deliveroo are defending the use of contracts, arguing riders are atteacted to the flexible nature of the job.
Delivery riders for Foodora and Deliveroo who are interested in getting involved in the campaign are urged to register with the Young Workers Centre at www.youngworkers.org.au/rights4riders