Uber has long supported sensible reform that improves benefits and protections for gig workers while preserving the flexibility they love.
We have been working with the Federal Government during its consultation and responded to the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations consultation paper on ‘employee-like’ forms of work. Our aim from the outset has been to advocate for what matters most to gig workers and ensure they have a voice in this important process.
Gig work makes a substantial contribution to the Australian economy. Uber and Uber Eats created an estimated $10.4 billion in economic value for the Australian economy and produced $6.6 billion in consumer surplus in 2021, which is equivalent to 0.35% of GDP.
More than 150,000 Australians use our platform to earn extra income each month, and in 2022 alone, $3.8 billion was paid out to drivers and delivery people. The overwhelming majority of platform workers choose this type of work because they value the distinctive flexibility it offers.
We are now faced with a unique opportunity to create modern laws for modern forms of work, and it’s critical to get things right for all gig economy workers. This is vital to our economy at a time when cost of living is increasing and the opportunity to earn extra income is beneficial to so many.
We believe that reform can provide certainty and transparency to workers in the form of a universal safety net of entitlements that applies to all gig workers and is easy to understand. Our submission to the Department outlined Uber’s support for the following standards:
- A transparent minimum earnings rate that ensures gig workers never earn below a set amount while on a job. Dynamic earning opportunities would remain intact, allowing workers the ability to earn above the minimum rate, depending on time of day and location
- Platform-funded compulsory personal accident insurance with minimum coverage for all gig contractors, so gig workers are covered in the event of a accident when performing work
- A consistent set of standards across platforms related to loss of platform access. This would include a mechanism to enable gig contractors to appeal decisions to permanently remove their access to a platform in certain instances, once internal processes have been exhausted
- The right to receive a Gig Contractor Information Statement from a platform, which sets out information about their status as a gig contractor, the safety net and their rights around dispute resolution; and and a monthly earnings statement, ensuring gig workers clearly understand their rights and what they are earning
This universal safety net would preserve the flexibility of being an independent contractor while providing better protections and benefits to all gig contractors.
Beyond the 150,000 people who earn with the Uber app each month, more than 50,000 Australian restaurants and retailers are partnered with the Uber Eats platform. A further 8 million consumers benefit from access to transportation and food delivery facilitated by platforms. If reforms are inadequate and fail to reflect the modern realities of gig work, there could be significant impact to jobs, to consumer availability and to businesses who use digital platforms to reach new customers and grow their businesses.
Done well and with an innovative mindset, these crucial reforms can provide greater certainty to both platform businesses and independent contractors who are making a significant contribution to Australia’s economic growth.
This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for reform, and we are committed to working with the Government and our industry to get it right for the people who matter the most.