On-demand workers, businesses and Victorians who use platforms for goods and services are being asked for their views on a way forward for the ever-growing gig economy.
Minister for Industrial Relations, Tim Pallas, this week asked Victorians to provide their views as part of a consultation period, following a landmark report into the on-demand workforce, which made 20 recommendations aimed at better protecting on-demand workers.
The consultation period is about Victorians providing their views on these recommendations, as the Government considers its response.
The Inquiry into the Victorian On-Demand Workforce was chaired by former Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James, and commissioned by the Victorian Government in 2018 following widespread concern over the wages and conditions offered to workers in the gig economy.
It found many workers have an uncertain work status, which can have consequences when it comes to things like superannuation and workers’ compensation, and advice about work status is often limited and fragmented.
More Australians than ever before are relying on online platforms to buy goods and services – and that means more Australians are undertaking on-demand work.
It also found that platform work is far more prevalent in Australia than previously thought, and as the economic impacts of coronavirus demonstrate, it’s casual workers who are often the first to be let go.
The Inquiry notes that any regulatory response should balance the needs of platform workers with those of business, so innovation and productivity isn’t stifled. The report also makes a number of recommendations that the Commonwealth has responsibility for, such as Australia’s national workplace laws.
Targeted consultation meetings will be chaired by Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer Nick Staikos, and written submissions must be lodged by October 13.
“This is an opportunity for on-demand workers, business owners and the wider public to have their say over the future of the gig economy,” said Pallas.
The gig economy, according to Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Nick Staikos, is relied upon by millions of consumers and workers across Australia.
“It’s essential that it operates effectively for workers, businesses and customers alike,” he said.