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Uber and TWU strike deal, focused on flexibility and minimum standards

June 28 / Australia

Through our Earner Advisory Forums, regular surveys and independent research, we know that you value the flexibility that platform work provides, but would like to see more benefits and protections.

Today, we have taken another step forward in our mission to raise the bar for independent work across Australia by striking a deal with the Transport Workers Union (TWU).

What does it mean for you?

The agreement is focused on elevating the voice of gig workers, protecting the flexibility valued by drivers and delivery people and providing a safety net for those working in the on-demand economy.

This includes advocating for the creation of industry-wide standards for:

  • Estimated and transparent earnings and benefits/conditions for platform workers;
  • A mechanism to resolve disputes, such as deactivation of accounts;
  • Ensuring platform workers have a collective voice and can be represented by a registered organisation;
  • Ensuring the appropriate enforcement exists to meet these standards and objectives.

These principles are aimed at keeping what is great about platform work – and what we hear driver partners and delivery people value about it – and making it even better.

What does it mean for Uber?

As we look to the future of platform work, we’re guided by what drivers and delivery people like yourself tell us matters. The Ipsos research we released two weeks ago showed that flexibility and fairness is what matters to driver partners and delivery people and that they prefer an approach which combines the autonomy of being an independent contractor, with some of the benefits and protections typically associated with being an employee.

We want to continue to improve the earnings experience with Uber for both driver partners and delivery people across Australia. While we have led the industry in introducing benefits like our Partner Support and Protection package, more regulatory certainty will enable us to continue to raise the bar for independent work. This agreement is the first step to achieving that. By working with the Government, industry and the TWU, we aim to make it easy for everyone to work in the way they choose, while having access to a set of reliable and affordable protections when you need it.

This includes supporting reform that would enable the introduction of a safety net earnings standard that reflects the nature of gig work and is available to all gig workers – regardless of which platform they work on – and ensuring an appropriate dispute resolution process.

What’s next?

This marks an exciting first step and we will continue to work collaboratively with the TWU, Federal Government, and other stakeholders, to reach a set of industry standards that recognises the unique nature of independent work and protects the interests of our driver partners and delivery people.

We’re committed to elevating your voice in future discussion on gig economy reform and will provide regular updates on any developments in this space.

To find out more, the full Statement of Principles and Future Commitments for Workers in the On-demand Economy can be found here.

What earners have said

Greg Walter, delivers via Uber Eats in Brisbane said: “The biggest appeal of working in the gig economy is flexibility. I think it’s an industry that requires a new rule book, and any industry initiative that meets the dual criteria of freedom and security is good for the industry, and for those that work in it.”

Michael Zhang, drives on the Uber platform in Sydney said: “As an international student, I really rely on having access to flexible earnings, especially throughout the pandemic. I think anything that helps improve the support for workers across this growing industry, while retaining the flexibility we value, is a win win.”