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Gig contractors must have access to fundamental work rights

This week, two food delivery drivers were killed in Australia. Since September, five riders have died on our roads. Five families have not been paid entitlements following these work-related deaths.

As the peak body for the recruitment and staffing industry, RCSA, has been advocating for better regulation of gig work platforms, and protection of their workers, for many years, so all Australians can work safely and with fundamental protections.

For eight years now, RCSA’s Chief Executive Officer Charles Cameron has raised these matters with the Fair Work Ombudsman. Well before unions and government.

It is now time for something to be done by law makers. Gig workers must have access to fundamental worker’s rights, and the law needs to move in line with the technological advancements to reflect this.

Gig workers are engaged as independent contractors and receive no employment entitlements.

This means that when a gig worker is injured or killed at work, they and their family are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

To put this in perspective, when any other worker is injured in a work-related accident, they are entitled to weekly payments, treatment expenses, permanent impairment benefit (if applicable), superannuation contributions, mental health supports, and transitional guidance.

Gig workers are not entitled to any of this.

Allowing the platforms to wash their hands of all responsibilities, while also permitting them to take a cut of their worker’s earnings directly undermines the integrity of Australia’s industrial relations laws and policies.

While RCSA supports workers having the freedom to engage in flexible work, workers should be confident that they, and their families, are adequately protected in this choice.

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